Corillian Corp. is selling some home banking software that it says offers more than the typical bank Web site but is less complicated than personal financial management software.
MoneyPad Personal Banker is designed to be used by customers of banks that employ Corillian's home banking system. The system includes server software and a design tool that lets the bank customize the "look and feel" of its Personal Banker product.
"MoneyPad Designer is analogous to Chase Manhattan Bank having the source code to Money 98 and editing out references to Microsoft," said Corillian chief executive officer Ted F. Spooner.
Rather than compete in the personal financial management category dominated by Microsoft Corp. and Intuit Inc., Corillian is hoping to create an entire software category called the personal finance appliance.
"With a personal financial appliance, the financial institution extends its ability to own the presence on the desktop," said Mr. Spooner. "And it can create different versions that meet different needs-the empty nester, the fee generator, or teenage account holders."
MoneyPad is not the first on-line banking product built by Beaverton, Ore.-based Corillian, the result of a management buyout from Checkfree Corp. in May. Corillian was one of the first vendors to offer home banking software using the Open Financial Exchange protocol, the specification endorsed by Microsoft, Intuit, and Checkfree.
Amsouth Bank in Alabama recently bought Corillian's Voyager server software. Crestar Bank in Virginia recently hired Corillian to provide on- line banking over the Internet and using personal financial managers.
Corillian president Kirk Wright said while focusing on sales to financial institutions, the company wants to solve a "larger issue: breaking down the complexity for the average user."
This middle ground, or "light" niche, in the home banking market remains somewhat elusive.
"There is not a lot of space between the individual that wants to do a little on-line banking and the individual that wants a full PFM," or personal financial management package, said Paul Harrison, CEO of Meca Software, which has met limited success with its simpler products.
"Once a consumer uses a component of a PFM like a check register, within a very short period of time they want more," Mr. Harrison said. "If you provide a middle-of-the-road product, you wind up with customers that get frustrated because they want to end up with the ability to create a consolidated net worth statement."
"When many customers hear about on-line banking, they equate that with a more complex tool set, rather than something simpler," said Nicole Vanderbilt, an analyst with Jupiter Communications in New York.
"The marketing challenge is to make them distinct and understandable products. And that is as much the bank's responsibility as that of the technology provider."