Fleet Financial Group Inc. has introduced its first banking program for personal computers.
Over the two weeks since the launch, 1,000 customers a day have enrolled, Fleet executives said.
"If you look at how different banks have rolled this out around the country, it's clear it doesn't take nearly as much marketing dollars as some of the early banks had thought," said Robert Hedges, director of Fleet's direct financial services group.
"You don't have to flog it the way you're flogging checking accounts."
Fleet is one of the six financial institutions that own Meca Software LP, makers of the Managing Your Money personal financial management software. Fleet's new product is a bank-branded version of Managing Your Money.
Customers can pay bills and perform other routine transactions via their PCs, but Fleet has also added a few custom twists. One is the ability to transfer money to any checking account at any U.S. bank.
Another is an Internet link that enables customers to toggle between the PC banking program and Fleet's page on the World Wide Web, which provides information about products and services.
Fleet plans to offer Internet banking by midyear, plus a separate PC- based product for small businesses.
"All the rollouts are built around the same thesis-that this is about consumer behavior and marketing, not technology," Mr. Hedges said.
Audrey Berg, a vice president in interactive banking, said another key product feature was the ability to prepare transaction information and requests off-line, then connect to the bank briefly to transmit them. This way, she said, the customer's telephone line is not tied up for too long.
"The first time a customer connects to Fleet, you receive 90 days of transaction history, so you can start managing your money right away," Ms. Berg said.