Providian Financial Corp. has renovated its GetSmart.com Web site, changing the look and feel for the first time since acquiring GetSmart early this year.

GetSmart is an on-line loan marketplace that connects to hundreds of participating lenders, not just Providian. Consumers enter information about the type of loan they are seeking, and companies submit bids for those customers.

Providian said it spent the last several months improving the site's back-end functions and has introduced a "next generation" consumer interface that "greatly simplifies navigation and increases speed and search productivity." New features include instant-approval options for various home equity and credit card products from member banks.

The Web site also has begun transmitting loan inquiries to member banks in real time, which is meant to produce faster responses to consumers.

"Most loan shoppers see the Web as an ideal resource for gathering information," said Stephen Semprevivo, president of GetSmart.com. "For those users, we provide our traditional on-line loan and lender connection option.

"But we also recognize that a small but growing percentage of consumers want to complete their entire transaction on-line. This latest release offers the functionality to service this demand."

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