ORLANDO - Early, Cloud & Co., which provides customer service software to banks, has joined Visa International's vendor partnership program.

The program is an attempt by the card association to improve remote banking by giving member institutions access to a wider array of software.

"A consumer's connectivity to personal financial information at the financial institution is a key to offering successful remote banking services," said Brent Robinson, a senior vice president of Visa's remote banking arm, known as Visa Interactive.

"The Early, Cloud & Co. solution will allow their customers and Visa members to bridge the gap between information and access."

Newport, R.I.-based Early Cloud's customer service product, known as Message Driven Processor, is a so-called middleware package that pulls data from disparate sources and organizes it into packets of information that can be used to help banks to answer customer inquiries more easily.

Such software is particularly useful to large organizations that are moving to client/server architecture in their customer service areas, company officials said.

The package is designed to free software developers and programmers from writing new code for legacy systems.

Early Cloud's partnership with Visa will contribute to the establishment of Visa's electronic banking message standard, which aims to standardize the exchange of electronic banking information between banks and consumers.

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