Women, children, and baby boomers are the focus of various community- oriented Web sites being promoted by banks.
Fleet Financial Group worked with Headbone Interactive, a Seattle-based creator of on-line children's programming, to launch an educational Web site, www.fleetkids.com. It is aimed at children from kindergarten to sixth grade.
The site features an animated figure, Alex, who teaches about the value of money, good citizenship, and teamwork through interactive games and other activities.
Children can enroll individually or through their schools. Registered schools can earn points each time students visit the site and participate. Top-scoring schools are awarded prizes, including computers and educational software.
Union Bank of California has made a series of Internet banking services available through women.com, a six-year-old site that attracts 2.3 million visitors a month. They now can link to Union Bank's Bank Home service, where they can open a new account or manage an existing one.
"In the household, women tend to manage family finances and make many important financial decisions," said Heather Robinson, the bank's vice president and manager of interactive markets. Union, which is mostly owned by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd., "wants to empower women by providing easy, immediate access to accounts and financial information," she said.
In August, Telebank, the branchless bank that is a subsidiary of Telebanc Financial Corp., announced an on-line partnership with ThirdAge Media Inc., which runs a Web site geared toward people over age 45. Telebank, which has a significant percentage of depositors 50 years or older, provides a retirement calculator on the ThirdAge site.
The partnership is designed to introduce Telebank's financial products to baby boomers. More than 77 million people in that age group will retire within the next 15 years.
"Aging boomers are entering a time in their lives when financial planning and investment are more important than ever," said Mitchell H. Caplan, president and chief executive officer of Telebank. "ThirdAge.com is the logical first place to reach them on-line."