Some of the biggest names in financial services are expected to announce today that they will offer home banking later this year using Intuit Inc.'s popular Quicken personal finance software.
Industry sources said 19 major banking organizations and nonbank financial services companies are expected to sign with Intuit, including such luminaries as American Express Corp., Citicorp, Chemical Banking Corp., Chase Manhattan Corp., First Interstate Bancorp, First Chicago Corp., Smith Barney, and Wells Fargo & Co.
Scott Cook, chief executive of Palo Alto, Calif.-based Intuit, is expected to be in New York today to announce his company's foray into on- line banking.
The new alliances are said to closely mirror the partnerships that Intuit's closest competitor, Microsoft Corp., has forged with several banks. Many of the banks that have signed on with Microsoft's Money program are also teaming up with Intuit.
Quicken is the dominant brand of personal finance software. With more than seven million users, it represents 75% to 80% of the market for banking and bill payment software.
"There are seven times as many Quicken users as Money users," said Linda Parker, a vice president for remote banking at U.S. Bank of Oregon, which will offer home banking services through both Money and Quicken. "It's unknown whether the same proportion will carry over into on-line banking."
Microsoft and Intuit "are going to compete against each other to give us the best products possible," said Gene Galloway, executive vice president for retail banking at Sanwa Bank, Los Angeles. Sanwa plans to use both Microsoft and Intuit.
Intuit has reportedly been negotiating with banks to offer these services for several months - even while it was in the thick of its attempts to be acquired by Microsoft.
The American Banker reported in May that at least a dozen banks had already lined up to offer on-line account access through Quicken in October.
But, sources say, Quicken stepped up its efforts in the past month and a half, after its deal with Microsoft collapsed under the weight of Justice Department scrutiny.
Microsoft's attempt to buy Intuit sent many banks into a panic, fearing the power the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant would wield. Since that deal was called off, bankers may be more receptive to alliances with either firm.
Case in point: In the past two weeks, five banks have announced that they will join Microsoft's program to offer similar home banking services through the latest version of its Money software this fall. Previously, Microsoft had publicly signed up only four banks in more than two years.
"You have a lot of scurrying going on right now," said William M. Randle, senior vice president at Huntington Bancshares in Columbus, Ohio. "You're going to see a lot of confusion."
Other financial institutions expected to announce agreements with Intuit include: Bank of Boston Corp., Centura Banks, Compass Bank, CoreStates Financial Corp., Home Savings of America, M&T Bank, Marquette Banks, Michigan National Bank, Sanwa Bank, Union Bank, and U.S. Bank of Oregon, the sources said.
Barton Crockett contributed to this report.