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Giantbank Kicks Off Online Lending left nothing to chance in creating a loan feature that enables customers to use electronic inquiries to get the best rates. left nothing to chance in creating a loan feature that enables customers to use electronic inquiries to get the best rates.

The online banking arm of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based Landmark Bank, added its new Loan Center as a vehicle for customers toreceive competitively rated loans from lenders nationwide, including many they may not have heard of. Powered and co-created by Lending Tree-an online loan marketplace and technology provider-the Loan Center enables customers to complete and submit an online loan application through the site ( and receive competitive bids for their loan business.

The Loan Center allows to deliver superior consumer lending service without creating a nationwide infrastructure. "It would have been a significant challenge for to offer and originate consumer lending products on a nationwide basis," said Perry LaCaria, president and CEO of

In addition to the Loan Center, offers standard online banking services such as deposits, balance inquiries and bill payment. The site employs 128-bit encryption to ensure customer security.

Powered by Lending Tree's Lend-X technology, the Loan Center allows customers to apply for home mortgages, home equity and automobile loans. After choosing their loan product, customers complete and submit an application that is electronically transmitted to Lending Tree's network of lenders. Within 24 hours the customer receives a response via e-mail or telephone that contains four lending companies offering bids. The customer analyzes the offers, selects the best option and contacts the lender directly to finalize the transaction.

The Lend-X platform supports multiple-loan as well as single-loan environments, connecting all of its partners and loan products in one exchange. Multiple links connect servers, front-end and back-end systems. Interfacing methods such as CGI and XML transfer loan data between borrower and lender via the Internet using SSL technology.

The links allow quick and easy automation into back-end systems, real-time decisioning, new product types, plus continual product and system upgrades.

The Lending Center, which launched in January, is's latest online offering. "The online banking space is growing at such a rate that there is ample opportunities for companies competing in this arena," LaCaria explained. "As more customers discover us as a banking alternative, we are confident our superior service will allow us to meet and exceed our projections." He declined to state the number of customers or volume of transactions on

The 8-month-old giantbank's use of customer relationship management (CRM) technology is expected to set it apart from competitors, LaCaria said. CRM is used to build core systems and processes around the total customer experience, including marketing, sales and customer service processes.

The bank's Contact Center utilizes unified messaging functionality to manage multiple contact channels like voice, Web chat, voice over IP, interactive voice response, e-mail and fax through a single server interface. "This system, coupled with our trained associates, provides us with robust and effective CRM capability," LaCaria said.

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