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Management Strategies

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Banknorth adds functionality to its online banking services; Citibank e-Business joins alterna Technologies Group's abix transaction network; Metcalf Bank finds National Source One's Teller Management System a plus.

Banknorth Group, Inc., has just made online banking easier for its customers by adding a tool that allows them to use popular personal financial management (PFM) programs to manage their accounts.

This tool allows Banknorth clients that use software programs such as Quicken and Microsoft Money to have simultaneous direct online access to their personal finances as well as their Banknorth accounts.

"It's a powerful, easy-to-use tool that gives people direct access to their accounting information, as well as Banknorth web services within the software," said Barbara Ream, executive vice president and director of eCommerce at Portland, Maine-based Banknorth. "It's the latest example of Banknorth's commitment to an array of online services to best meet the needs of our personal and business customers."

This service is free for those Banknorth customers who are currently enrolled in the company's Internet banking services. Banknorth has branches throughout Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and upstate New York.


Citibank e-Business, a unit of Citigroup, has joined the abix bank and transaction network created by alterna Technologies Group Inc., Calgary, Alberta.

abix is an international community of banks, enterprise systems and financial solutions vendors that provides members with the ability to standardize and re-use interfaces for processing account balance and transaction information, payments and related messages. This initiative allows for standardization between alterna's platform, abix member banks and their mutual clients.

Citibank e-Business is the first global bank to join the community.

"Enabling straight-through processing with bank connectivity initiatives such as abix is a key element to our strategy," said Ann Cairns, COO for Citibank e-Business. "Together with alterna we have a compelling offering, one which streamlines the payment and information reporting process, helping our customers to maximize the management of working capital."

The goal of the abix community is to save money and time for their members by providing re-useable payment and messaging interfaces. The members can reach both large corporations and individual clients through the use of alterna's technology.


Kansas-based Metcalf Bank has purchased National Source One's (NSO) online branch automation offering to update their teller system.

NSO's 32-bit Windows-based application provides Metcalf with a system that is time- efficient, allowing tellers to be trained in a quicker fashion and to be able to process more customer information.

"NSO was able to provide us an adequate view of the software's capability," said Alice Reeves, assistant vice president of Metcalf Bank. "Once we recognized that we could cut our training time in half and that the system would improve the capability of our tellers to process customer activity more efficiently and quickly, we were sold."

NSO specializes in replacing older DOS-based PC teller systems, providing a smaller chance for margin of error in transactions, teller inputs and teller/cash differences.

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