Citibank is seeking a partner for its revitalized home banking program.
The nation's largest bank wants a telephone company to help in developing and marketing a high-tech home banking and information service, said Catherine Allen, a Citibank vice president.
The plan calls for data to be delivered via a wide array of electronic gadgetry, from screen-equipped telephones to hand-held computers.
Citibank is no longer interested in developing proprietary home banking devices, like its high-tech "enhanced telephone," said Ms. Allen, at a recent conference.
By working with another company, the bank could defray some development costs and gain access to a large number of potential customers.
"We will be increasingly delivering services to customers via credit cards, prepaid cards, or smart cards,- Ms. Allen said. "That's why we need to work with device makers" as well as telecommunications companies.
Ms. Allen - the chair of a Citibank task force on strategic alliances - wouldn't discuss how far along the bank's search for a partner was. But Philips N.V., the Dutch electronics company that manufactures Citi's ET, plans to test that device with customers of an unspecified telephone company next year.