small businesses get started on the World Web.
One Stop eStoreevolved out of a service the San Francisco banking company began in 1995 when it pioneered in developing Virtual Vineyards, the on-line wine and specialty foods store.
Since then Wells has worked with 3,000 businesses beginning on-line operations, assisting with payments processing, site hosting, digital certificates, cataloguing, and advertising.
"We can provide customers with A through Z or just the bits and pieces that they need, through a self-selecting process on the Wells Fargo site," said Debra Rossi, executive vice president for e-commerce at Wells.
At the Wells Fargo site, people interested in setting up on-line businesses would be given preliminary information. Wells assists with naming and designing the site, advertising, and traffic-building. The business can open a payment processing account with Wells by using an on-line application. The bank does the credit underwriting and risk management, such as monitoring account volume, sales, and growth.
One Stop's slogan, "one bill, one week" has already been proven. Its first customers, a veterinary site and an equipment maker, were up and running on the Internet three days after Wells introduced the service, Ms. Rossi said.
First Data Corp., an Atlanta-based payment processor, developed the technology platform for One Stop. Other partnerships include one with Excite Home Inc., an Internet portal company, to list merchants of One Stop on the Excite Shopping Service.
Paul Grill, director of research at First Annapolis Consulting in Linthicum, Md., said other banks might want to follow the Wells model if they expect to keep their commercial customers.