At the time, nobody really expected anything inspirational to come of Integrion Financial Network, a technology consortium composed primarily of banks. Early forecasts had the group disbanding faster than Bill Gates could say "dinosaur."

But Integrion, which is owned by 17 major industry forces and publisher of the Gold Messaging Standard, could be a viable, if not surprising, contender that provides Internet banking connectivity options, says Yankee Group analyst Dan Amdur-if, that is, the group remains backed by its present deep-pocketed owners. Should the bank pack and IBM Corp. stick together, Integrion will have economies of scale to allow banks to reduce unit costs and development expense-a significant competitive advantage, says Integrion spokesperson Emily Mendell.

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