F8Media has unveiled software designed to help banks build stronger relationships with their customers.
The New York-based company was formed six months ago by the merger of Dot.com Interactive and a New Jersey-based advertising agency, Britt Co.
Its software, Entre, is designed to help banks jazz up "dull, inefficient Web sites" by adding information to them, said David Dunne, a founding partner of F8Media.
"It is a desktop application which allows plug-ins like on-line banking, PC banking, and data base information," said Mr. Dunne.
The software can deliver through the Internet marketing information and community news tailored to individual PC banking users.
"We've designed it to make it easy for a bank to interact with its customers," said Mr. Dunne.
F8Media's research indicates that banks do not tend to be very good at marketing their own services. Though banks often offer up to 50 products, customers tend to know about only two or three, Mr. Dunne said.
"Entre provides an opportunity for them to introduce customers to more of their products and to make the information available to them whether they use it or not," he said.
Banks can make Entre available to customers on CD-ROM, floppy disk, or via downloading from the Internet.
Once the software is installed on a customer's computer, Entre's icon becomes a permanent feature on the desktop. Information is updated either when the customer requests it or automatically when an Internet connection is established.
F8Media has sold Entre to one international bank it declined to name, and it is in discussions with five more financial institutions. The software's cost is determined by the level of customization required and by the number of users.
"Its pricing is designed to be competitive with other forms of direct marketing that a bank normally uses," said Lance Miller, the former first vice president of corporate planning at Crossland Savings Bank who is a partner in F8Media.