in popularity as veteran Web surfers seek information at specialized sites. This could spell trouble for credit card issuers, which advertise heavily on these portals.

This particular sound bite emanates from a six-year-old Internet research firm in New York, Cyber Dialogue, one of a growing chorus of voices offering survey-based wisdom about all things on-line. Its take on the evolution of Web-browsing preferences is not unique, but the way it relates such trends to banking and electronic commerce has made the firm popular with some financial analysts who cite its findings in their reports to investors.

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