Meridian Bancorp. has become the first financial institution to sign a contract with TV Answer Inc., which intends to deliver electronic information through consumers' televisions.

The agreement allows Meridian to offer a home-banking service over the Reston, Pa., company's network, bank officials said. The service launch is slated for April 1993.

Meridian, based in Reading, Pa., will continue to offer personal-computer-based home banking service through Prodigy Services Corp., White Plains, N.Y.

Meridian expects to charge a flat monthly fee for the new service and will pay TV Answer based on transaction volume.

Device Sits on TV

TV Answer will market a communications device, made by the Hewlett-Packard Co., that sits on top of a customer's television. The device will provide access to a range of information services, such as home shopping and bill payment.

With the Meridian home-banking service, customers initially will be able to check their account balances, pay bills, and transfer money between accounts.

"I'm trying to enhance our retail banking relationships and attract more [business] to the bank," said Joseph S. Pendleton 3d, senior vice president of electronic banking at Meridian.

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