CFI Proservices Inc. and GTE Corp. are taking outsourcing into cyberspace.
The companies are joining forces to create an Internet-based service bureau to handle on-line banking by personal computer.
CFI provides the software for PC banking; GTE hosts banks' Web sites and provides Internet connections to bank systems.
The service, which is aimed at community banks and should be available this summer, is designed as "a vehicle for establishing a comprehensive home banking system at a lower cost," said Matthew Chapman, chairman and chief executive officer of Portland, Ore.-based CFI.
Community banks typically spend $80,000 to $100,000 to create and host full-service Web sites, said Helen A. Beckel, vice president at CFI. Users of the CFI/GTE service would be able to get a site up and running for as little as $7,500.
The service will compete with one from Online Resources and Communications Corp., which has signed up more than 200 financial institutions.
The CFI/GTE service will have a dial-up option for personal computers, but CFI executives expect it to be far less popular than the Internet version. "We think the market has turned" toward the Internet in the last 12 to 18 months, said Ms. Beckel.
More than 200 banks use CFI's Personal Branch software in dial-up mode. But its newer, Internet version has been accepted quickly. About 80 banks use it.
"With so many complex issues of hardware, connectivity, implementation, and administration, many financial institutions have put off the decision" on launching an Internet-based banking service, Ms. Beckel said.
The outsourcing service would give community institutions an easy way to cope with these issues, she said.