Bank consolidation, often of the emergency variety, has been on the rise the past couple of quarters. That presents a delicate balancing act: Move customers off legacy systems as fast as possible, but don't disrupt relationships.

With 67 percent of the addressable market engaged in online banking, according to Celent, maintaining online continuity is a priority. "We have customers who are logging into our online banking site a dozen or more times a month," says Joy Marshall, head of online banking platforms for consumer and business customers at Wachovia, which was acquired last fall by Wells Fargo. Wachovia and Wells Fargo plan to consolidate their online banking platforms - Wachovia uses Fiserv's Voyager system and Wells Fargo uses a home-built platform - but only after determining the most customer-friendly path to integration. "Both online banking platforms are currently being reviewed, but will likely result in consolidating to a single platform. To ensure minimal disruption to our customers, this will be done a deliberate and thoughtful way," Marshall says, adding the scale of the combined platforms will allow for easier product development in the future.

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