In keeping with the growing number of business partnerships involving home banking, Microsoft Corp. and a unit of Reuters have teamed up to offer a PC-based system designed to facilitate on-line banking and investing.
Microsoft has combined the capabilities of Money Version 3 - its on-line banking and personal finance software - with Reuters Money Network, an on-line investment program developed by Reality Online Inc., formerly Reality Technologies Inc.
The package will be available in stores by mid-October for approximately $14.95.
The partnership demonstrates both companies' commitment to the development of remote banking services.
"We heard over and over from customers that they want easier access to on-line information and transactions, not just home banking, but investment areas," said Richard Bray, group product manager for Money.
"This program is a natural extension to the on-line capabilities of Money."
Jeffrey S. Leibowitz, executive vice president of King of Prussia, Pa.-based Reality Online, agrees that the new software is "a perfect blend of two complementary products."
Since Microsoft's Bank On-Line service became available earlier this year, customers at participating banks can access checking, savings, and credit card account information, transfer funds between accounts, and communicate with their banks via electronic mail.
The price for the service at the banks, which include U.S. Bancorp, First Chicago Corp., and Michigan National Corp., is $7.95 a month.
For $9.95 a month, customers at any bank can access Pay On-Line, Microsoft's electronic bill payment service.
Network switching and management of the services are handled by the National Payment Clearinghouse Inc., which was acquired this year by a Microsoft competitor, Intuit Inc., makers of the Quicken line of personal finance software.
The new package will also give users access to Reuters Money Network, operated by Reality Online. The software provides timely quotes, personalized news, historical-pricing graphs, on-line trading, and investment alerts.
It also lets users track all of their investments and notifies them of events that affect the investments they follow.
The on-line updates, data bases, and trading services in Reuters Money Network will be available at no charge for the first month of use and will cost between $9.95 and $29.95 per month thereafter, depending on the services chosen by the user.
Reality Online already has a version of its software, released in July, which works with Intuit's on-line banking service, based on Quicken, and developed with Visa International.
Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft is working to expand the number of banks offering on-line banking through Money. According to Mr. Bray, of the approximately 90 million households in the United States, 10 million now have access to Bank On-Line.
With forthcoming announcements of other banks planning to use the program - which Mr. Bray declined to name - the company expects the number to increase to over 20 million households by the end of 1994, and 30 million in 1995.