Internet portals began as search engines to find content among the
Directories of links were then added. The leading portal, Yahoo, has
Portals are free to users and depend on advertising revenue to survive.
This revenue grows the longer viewers spend on a site and the more pages
Today portals are actively competing with many other sites by offering
Yahoo today draws about 31 million people a month, or about 50% of all
Each viewer spends about one hour a month at the site, which might be 5%
Three ways to recognize portals are:
They carry lots of advertising.
They are able to search information outside their own site.
Numerous other sites link to them.
To build traffic, proprietary sites use branding, banner ads, and
Amazon.com is a great example, having some 280,000 affiliates.
Software from vendors such as iMediation track and monitor affiliate
Affiliate networks are primarily used by merchants, but the concept can
Web sites related to financial services constitute only 4% of the top
None of these sites really serve as portals.
The closest is bankrate.com, which does have some links to other sites.
The bloomberg.com and quicken.com sites also have some links. But all of
None even contain a simple directory of all other bank links such as
It is surprising that only two banks make this top 500 list, but this
For example, if the BankAmerica and NationsBank sites were combined,
There is more untapped potential in the routine banking transaction
All of the financial Web sites in the chart have gone overboard to trap
For example, none carry any third-party ads, to avoid click-throughs to
In contrast, all the information sites except nasdaq.com carry
This entrapment works poorly in cases where the bank is trying to
It lists summary data on 5,000 colleges, yet specifically does not have
Trapping the viewer with proprietary information is limiting. In its tax
Wells Fargo provides some summary proprietary information on GATT and
Bank One offers up only five recommendations for business reading (with
The problem is that other sources will do better jobs. Bank customers
These sites will make full use of the panoply of Web resources and will
Financial institutions are making only limited use of affiliate
For example, wellsfargo.com links to virtual pages for Zachs research,
E-Trade links to street.com for investor news, fidelity.com, and Reuters
There is a significant difference in the number of affiliate networks
Because they depend basically on their existing customers, none of the
Even a site like Nextcard, which advertises extensively elsewhere on the
Could a financial institution be an aggregator of financial services?
Banks that today are product supermarkets can transfer their existing
A comparison of mutual fund listings at Vanguard versus Citibank is
Few examples exist of true financial institution aggregators, for
Many customers prefer to do their own best of breed selection. Lastly,
In fact, the new entrants in the top 20 are focused differentiators, not
E-trade's purchase of Telebank makes it basically a two-product company,
The conclusion is that all financial institutions must properly
Becoming a true portal or a source for finding numerous other things is
Customers will seek the same features on-line from financial
On-line aggregation of different providers will face the same
Affiliate networks will be used less than elsewhere because of the
Banks' thinking about cyberspace relationships and roles should be
The industry has plenty to do in building on-line service delivery