The Online Banking Association is hooking up with Gorilla Systems Corp. to develop a Banking and Investments Channel on the Internet.
Its aim is to become a clearing house of banking, investment, and insurance information for the general public.
The channel, referred to as B&I, would have two methods of delivery: via phone lines and modems to a television or personal computer, and via cable modems and satellite systems where broadband speeds are available. The latter method would allow for television-like screen quality.
Information on the channel might address how to choose a bank, pay bills electronically, apply for loans, buy mutual funds, and save for retirement, the trade group said.
"The service will be totally informational, unbiased, and nonpromotional," said James M. Shelton, the Corte Madera, Calif., association's executive director.
The Online Banking Association expects to begin testing a few system modules in the next few weeks, with financial institutions as sponsors. The group is also negotiating to put a financial news source and financial planning company on-line.
"This will be an industrywide service at no cost to banks," Mr. Shelton said. "In a complex world, an information-on-demand service is of great interest."
Revenue is likely to come from advertising and sponsorships, although the financial planning service may be fee based. Each module could include a link to an advertiser's Web site.
Gorilla's production facility in Tampa will be the technology facilitator and content manager.
"We have a lot of expertise in the area of film, broadcast, and entertainment-type content," said Paul Lambert, director of consumer services for Gorilla. "The B&I channel will be more interactive than is traditionally available on the Internet."