Centura Bank and Commercial Federal Corp. were among financial services portal pioneers. Both signed on to America Online s banking center when it opened in 1996. It presented an opportunity to gain valuable Internet knowledge for free and post informational pages on their banks.

But both dropped their AOL relationships last year, when it began charging for the service. We didn t have a huge number of customers interested in accessing us this way, explains Jim Evans, on-line banking channel manager for Rocky Mount, NC-based Centura.

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