The Online Banking Association is announcing the development of the Banking and Investments (B&I) Channel. This will consist of a series of financial information segments for consumers that can be accessed over the Internet. Subjects will include such things as âHow to Finance Your New Home,â âHow to Buy Mutual Funds,â âHow to Save for Retirementâ and other financial topics of interest to individuals.
According to James M. Shelton, OBA Executive Director, âThere is a great need for information on financial services due to the ever changing and complex financial world in which we live. Todayâs consumers are confused about the many financial products and services being offered. By providing easy to understand and unbiased information about financial services, we can provide valuable information to banking customers.â
Gorilla Systems Corporation will be the technology facilitator for the system and will manage the operation on behalf of the OBA. According to Paul Lambert, Director of Consumer Services for Gorilla, âWe are pleased to work with the OBA in developing the navigational components and technical issues associated with the B&I Channel. In particular, the technologies of broadband delivery of information over the Internet provides an exciting new opportunity to serve the banking public.â
The OBA and Gorilla Systems, in conjunction with other content providers, will be developing informational programs or modules to store on the B&I Channel web site. Each module will address a specific financial topic and can be accessed through the Internet. Financial institutions can sponsor various modules or advertise on the modules which can be accessed on demand by consumers. Each module will also provide a hot link to each advertiserâs web site. This allows target marketing by the bank, since those consumers requesting information on a specific financial service will be a prime market for the advertiser that is promoting that service.
Two databases will be developed. One will be for delivery on the standard Internet via telephone modems. The other will be for use with cable modem and satellite systems where broad bandwidth speed is available. These will be more television-like quality and will make extensive use of multi media presentations.
Content from the standard telephone Internet connection can either be delivered over television or a personal computer. For customers without personal computers in the home, the OBA is offering a set top box for banks to market which will provide Internet access over the home television.
Banks and content providers interested in participating in the program should call OBA headquarters at 415-924-1051. The first pilot program is planned for introduction this Fall. For further information on Gorilla Systems, please check their web site at www.gorillacorp.com. Information on the OBA is at [www.obanet.org].