January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

E-Commerce, Banking Open Up

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

Barnes and Noble, Dell Computers, Lands' End, OfficeMax, The Sharper Image and Toys R Us have been recruited as partners by Open Solutions, a provider of enterprise and e-commerce solutions for community banks and credit unions, for the initial release of its Open Community Network banking model, which it calls "a set of enabling software and services designed to create commerce and community around the banking transaction."

This combination of Internet banking and a business-to-business or business-to-consumer supplier community network will be offered in an Application Service Provider model hosted by Open Solutions, the Glastonbury, Conn.-based company says. Open Solutions' solutions will allow financial institutions to extend their reach and operations, and create new revenue streams, says Louis Hernandez Jr., CEO.

Phase One of OCN was introduced to current Open Solutions core customers on February 1. Within the first two weeks of availability, five institutions signed contracts for the new service, says the firm. Those institutions include Queen City Federal Savings, Virginia, Minn.; Seneca Falls Savings Bank, Seneca Falls, N.Y.; Oneida (N.Y.) Savings Bank; The Savings Bank of Manchester (Conn.); and Illinois State Federal Police Credit Union, Springfield, Ill. Phase One incorporates three components: The Complete Banking Solution for core processing, e-Commerce Banker for Internet banking and e-Commerce Mart, which links partners, suppliers and community resources online. The latter component allows bank customers and credit union members to make Internet purchases from the financial institution's Web site.

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