Bell Atlantic And City National Bank Join Forces To "Power Up" Internet Financial Services
May 20, 1999
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
"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
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
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.