The Internet bank offshoot of the insurance company Principal Financial Group, Des Moines, has installed software to speed the processing of deposit applications. Carmel, Ind.-based Baker Hill Corp. supplied the software, which is called OnePath.

As a start-up, "we sought to avoid manual processes," said James L. Jacobson, vice president and chief information officer of Principal Bank, also in Des Moines. The year-and-a-half-old bank uses OnePath to handle customer applications for checking accounts, certificates of deposit, savings, and money market accounts submitted over the Internet. It plans to use the same software to automate credit card, auto loan, and home equity loan processing, Mr. Jacobson said.

OnePath connects to other processors, such as check printers and outsourcers, to facilitate bookings of deposits. For example, information from approved checking accounts is sent immediately to printers that cut the checks.

OnePath also connects to Little Rock-based Alltel Information Services, which processes Principal Bank's accounts, and to bill-payment software run by M&I Data Services at its Milwaukee service bureau. And the software will link to credit card processing systems run by Total System Services Inc. in Columbus, Ga.

Jim Hill, vice president and director of sales at Baker Hill, said OnePath responds to a deposit application in a matter of minutes.

Principal Bank has accumulated 4,000 customer accounts and $65 million of assets. Principal Financial Group built the Internet bank so it could offer established customers a comprehensive financial package. "Banking is everyone's square one," Mr. Jacobson said.

Principal cross-sells financial products to a customer base generated by Principal Residential Mortgage Inc., which provides home equity loans; the broker-dealer Princorp Financial Services Corp., which offers securities and mutual funds; and Principal Life Insurance Co., which sells life, disability, and annuity products.

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