Eight influential technology companies have agreed to develop jointly an Internet banking program for community banks.
To be known as MoneyXpress, the program was announced earlier this week at the Independent Bankers Association of Texas conference in San Antonio. MoneyXpress will feature on-line banking, bill payment, and brokerage services.
The collaborators are: Microsoft Corp., Mesa Internet Systems, CFI Proservices Inc., CompUSA, Primevest Financial Services, Pulse EFT Association, Southwestern Bell, and Visa Interactive.
Texas bankers said a consortium approach gives smaller banks access to technologies and services they might otherwise not be able to afford.
"We have had a heck of a time trying to get companies interested in the community bank market here," said Chris Williston, president of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas.
"This is a way to use the collective resources of our banks to provide these services."
Initially, MoneyXpress will be sold to about 700 association member banks that have a combined three million customers. But it soon will be made available to community banks in other states.
When available at the end of the first quarter, MoneyXpress is expected to cost participating banks an initial $20,000 to $30,000, said Mr. Williston.
Mesa Internet Systems in Austin, Tex., will run the on-line banking service from its central data center. Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., will integrate its Money '97 software into an Internet banking system run by software from CFI Proservices, which is based in Portland, Ore.
Visa Interactive will provide the bill-payment services. Primevest, a St. Cloud, Minn., brokerage services firm that supports operations at several Texas banks, will provide on-line stock and mutual fund services.
Southwestern Bell in San Antonio will offer bank customers deep discounts on Internet connections and Web browser software. And Houston- based Pulse, a regional electronic banking network, will provide participating banks with discounts on transaction switching. CompUSA steps in with discounts to banks and their customers for computer hardware.