Bell Atlantic And City National Bank Join Forces To "Power Up" Internet Financial Services
May 20, 1999
|Media contact:||Steve Day, City Holding |
Maureen Flanagan, Bell Atlantic
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Bell Atlantic and City National Bank announced today that they have joined forces to "power up" Internet financial services. The companies have signed a multi-million dollar deal - Bell Atlantic's largest Internet contract to date - that is designed to maximize the strengths of both organizations for the benefit of the customer, according to City Holding Company President and CEO Steve Day.
"This strategic arrangement brings together Bell Atlantic's telecommunications expertise and City's Internet and Financial services to provide our customers the strongest and most reliable platform in which to conduct banking on the Internet," Day said.
Under the agreement, Bell Atlantic's Data Solutions Group will provide the Internet access services to customers of Citynet, an Internet access and web site development company which is a division of City National Bank. This allows CityNet to be "powered" by a customized, state- of-the-art Internet services network which was specifically designed by the Data Solutions Group for City Holding Company, the bank's parent company.
This joint effort was a perfect fit, according to City's top executive. City was looking for a partner to provide the expertise and scalability to grow without rebuilding its system. Bell Atlantic recognized City's commitment to taking care of the customer and providing all of the latest financial services with the most convenient access.
"Bell Atlantic is committed to bringing today's high-demand technology services to customers to strengthen their market position," said Joe Farina, Bell Atlantic Data Solutions Group President and CEO. "Clearly, the Internet is a growth vehicle for banks. Our agreement with City National Bank will ensure its customers have access to the latest in banking and financial services using the convenience of the Internet."
The Data Solutions Group will engineer the network to handle future demand for Internet banking services, enabling City National to serve an ever-growing customer base with no capital investment through the life of the contract. Since City Holding Company began offering at-cost Internet access and financial services to its customers via CityNet in 1998, they have added approximately 2,000 new accounts each month.
Advanced Network will Support Creative Applications
The Data Solutions Group will provide dial-up services to CityNet's customers using Internet Protocol Routing Service (IPRS). Other services include a highly sophisticated authentication system that safeguards customer entry to the system, high-speed Internet access, USENET News and mailbox services. Bell Atlantic also will provide web hosting from its Reston, Virginia facility and manage service to approximately 30 dedicated access Internet customers.
As part of the agreement, the Data Solutions Group will monitor, manage and maintain the network to ensure CityNet customers 24-hour access to financial services every day. High level engineering and technical support are included, as well.
"Putting Bell Atlantic in charge of the network gives us a competitive edge by positioning us to deliver the latest web-enabled customer services," said Day. "Our success together could be a chance to significantly increase the number of customers we can serve in the next three years."
City Holding plans to build new applications and functionality onto the CityNet web site, such as complete e-solutions for a wide array of financial services and link-ups with real estate and insurance web sites to offer customers ultimate ease and convenience for all their banking needs.
Bell Atlantic will begin migrating customers to "CityNet Powered by Bell Atlantic Data Solutions Group" -- the system's new co- branded name -- by late summer and will complete the transition by the end of the year. To meet City Holding's timetable, the Data Solutions Group will accelerate its data network buildout in West Virginia.
"We'll add IPRS to the Clarksburg and Hagerstown service areas and deploy an advanced authentication system that will be capable of supporting sophisticated applications in the future, such as extranet services," said Farina.
In outsourcing its Internet access and web hosting functions, City National Bank wanted to maintain direct support to its customers. Farina said the Bell Atlantic solution was unique in that respect. "Many companies want to take ownership of your customers when they sign on to provide Internet services," he said. Under the agreement, City National Bank will continue to handle billing, customer service and other customer care activities.
About City Holding:
City Holding Company is a $2.8 billion bank holding company headquartered in Charleston, West Virginia and is the parent company of City National Bank of West Virginia, Del Amo Savings Bank, FSB, and City Financial Corporation. City National Bank, in addition to its banking divisions, operates: City Mortgage Services, a retail originator, wholesaler and servicer of mortgage loans; RMI, ltd., an insurance agency offering a full range of insurance products and services, headquartered in Winfield, West Virginia; Jarrett/Aim Communications, a printing and direct mail service provider located in Charleston, West Virginia; and Citynet, an internet service provider and web-site development firm located in Charleston, West Virginia. City Holding Company's common stock is publicly traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol CHCO.
About Bell Atlantic:
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With 43 million telephone access lines and nine million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.
About Bell Atlantic Data Solutions Group:
Bell Atlantic's Data Solutions group (www.ba-dsg.com) is dedicated to providing globally integrated network solutions that seamlessly connect businesses with their customers, partners and employees. The Data Solutions Group provides all aspects of data networking from the management and operation of customer networks and network integration, to network transport and advanced IP services, such as intranets and Extranets, virtual private networks, web hosting and multimedia services.