Two leading consortiums in interactive financial services are spreading their wings.
Integrion Financial Network, the group with International Business Machines Corp. at its core, said PNC Bank Corp., First Chicago NBD Corp., and Michigan National Corp. will be the next to pilot its home banking and bill payment system.
MSFDC, the bill payment and presentment joint venture of Microsoft Corp. and First Data Corp., announced the addition of Banc One Corp. to its advisory board. Banc One is to join KeyCorp and Wells Fargo & Co. in the first wave of system testing this year.
The Integrion banks will be using the Interactive Financial Services system to offer account balances, transfers, and bill payments via the Internet and through Intuit Inc.'s Quicken 98 personal financial software.
By yearend, said Integrion managing director William M. Fenimore, the consortium that includes Visa U.S.A. and 17 financial institutions will have 14 of its owner-banks and 50 others from the old Visa Interactive group using the Interactive Financial Services system.
An irony in MSFDC's addition of Banc One is that the Columbus, Ohio, holding company was one of the first two to use the Integrion system. The other was NationsBank Corp. Integrion was announced in the fall of 1996 as a bank-controlled alternative to electronic systems designed by Intuit and Microsoft.
Banc One is following the common practice of testing multiple waters. Bruce Luecke, its general manager of interactive services, said it is also discussing a bill presentment arrangement with Checkfree Corp. and Integrion.
"We can't afford to be exclusive," said Mr. Luecke. "Who knows how the market for bill presentment will mature? It is way too early to say that anyone is going to win."
Mr. Luecke said the MSFDC program will include bill presentments from Banc One's First USA affiliate. But the deal does not change Banc One's commitment to Integrion, he added.
Each Integrion bank had its own reasons for moving forward.
"The infrastructure becomes key," said Martin E. Evancoe, manager of on- line banking at PNC. "We are relying on their infrastructure for most of our strategic releases" of products.
First Chicago NBD emphasizes the ability to work with Integrion's technology partners in adding bill payment capabilities to home banking programs.
"Integrion has the best bill payment out there," said Tim M. Kemp, manager of on-line services at the Chicago company. "They are in partnership with Checkfree and IBM, two high-quality organizations."
Michigan National hopes Integrion will let it offer home banking through a variety of devices, including screen phones and WebTV, "without having to route through subsystems," said Michael A. King, director of alternative banking.