Open Solutions Inc. has added a payroll service to its community bank Internet portal.

The Glastonbury, Conn., company's Open Community Network, which was unveiled in February, lets community banks offer their retail and small-business customers services including business-to-business commerce, financial management, and procurement.

Now, through an alliance with PayMaxx Inc. announced Monday, network-member banks can offer small businesses - those with less than 100 employees - payroll processing, 401(k) administration, human resources services, and tax filing services.

Payroll processing and tax filing are a "headache for small business," said Kathy Palmer, vice president of business development for Franklin, Tenn.-based PayMaxx. Outsourcing the services "provides cost-effectiveness and allows small businesses to redeploy their resources," she said.

Another feature of the Open Community Network is a buying center where banks' retail customers can shop for merchandise from companies such as Sharper Image and Gap. They can aggregate all purchases in one virtual shopping cart and pay by credit card or by debiting directly from a checking account.

"We are returning community financial institutions to the center of community commerce by allowing them to fulfill their role as the most trusted financial intermediary," said Louis Hernandez Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Open Solutions.

Close to one-fourth of Open Solutions' 350 core banking software clients have signed up for the Open Community Network, including the Internet-only banks American Bank and StoneBridgebank.com. The network offers 30 million to 40 million products on bank-branded sites.

Michael Nicastro, vice president of marketing and business development for Open Solutions, said: "It is important to create diversified services for the banks to offer. We are trying to bring in services like PayMaxx because small businesses are continuously asking their banks for support in that area."

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