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10:24 AM
Vivian Wagner
Vivian Wagner
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Small Bank Casts Net To Gather In Far-Flung Customer Base

A small bank in Pennsylvania has harnessed the Net to extend services across its sprawling territory.

Wayne Bank, based in Honesdale, Pa., serves a largely rural population scattered over several counties in the northeastern corner of the state. Through nine full-service offices, Wayne serves a diversity of customers: farmers, lumber companies, resort businesses, summer camps, and even some people who live in the area and commute several hours to New York or New Jersey to work. With its customers increasingly turning to the Internet to keep connected with the rest of the world, Wayne decided last October to offer online banking services.

"We see all of our competitors in the industry-not only other banks, but other financial services companies-offering these kinds of services," said Joseph Kneller, senior vice president of information systems and IS manager for Wayne Bank.

To develop and host its Internet presence, the $320 million bank chose Fiserv, Brookfield, Wis., which provides integrated data processing and information management systems to banks and other financial services companies.

The bank's new Web site replaces its old, information-only site. Individual and commercial customers can now access all of their accounts in order to view balances, transfer money between accounts, pay down bank loans, order checks, place stop payments, and perform just about all other banking transactions that they once had to do at a branch or over the phone.

The bank chose Fiserv in part because it had already been providing data processing for the bank. Using Fiserv for Web services was a natural extension of its relationship. "They already have all of our information," said Kneller. "And overall they've been good."

Melding the bank's understanding of its customers with Fiserv's technical savvy, Fiserv has been working to make sure that the Web site's capabilities match the bank's needs. "We feel that what they have done is much better than what we could do ourselves," said Kneller.

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