A forecasted jump in the number of people banking online prompted Metcalf Bank, a six-branch community bank in Overland Park, Kan., to offerInternet services to its customers.
"In our marketplace, many customers see these Internet services or types of systems as a necessity. We needed this system to compete," said Aaron Bowman, chief financial officer and technology officer at $190 million Metcalf.
By 2002, GartnerGroup estimates, 24.4 million Americans will bank online and 13.7 million households will pay their bills online.
Available for a year, the Metcalf service has over 1,300 users enrolled, representing more than 10% of the bank's open checking accounts About 325 people are enrolled in the bill pay service. In September, Metcalf added online stock trading.
The online system has helped offload traffic from Metcalf's branch and telephone channels. Tasks that formerly would have required a trip to a branch or a phone call-like obtaining a list of cleared checks or a check image-can be done at home. "Checkbook reconciliation can be a time consuming process," Bowman said. "Now, it's easier for the customer to do this at home."
Metcalf is using the Virtual Financial Solutions (VFS) Internet Banking and Bill Pay product from Toronto-based SLMSoft.com, its core banking system supplier for the past 10 years.