A recently formed joint venture is pushing into a business that has been slow to develop for financial institutions: using the Internet as a real-time, 24-hour-a-day vehicle for generating loan business.

Peter Schmitt, chief operating officer of Digital Dialogue Inc., said it has identified five community banks as potential pilot testers for its service. "We're targeting credit unions and banks -- institutions that are looking to provide different types of services to their members," Mr. Schmitt said.

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