Magazine article American Banker

Intuit CEO: Banks Won't Be Wired Out

Magazine article American Banker

Intuit CEO: Banks Won't Be Wired Out

Article excerpt

The chairman and chief executive of Intuit Inc. told a group of bank technology executives this week that he believes financial institutions will play key roles in the emerging world of electronic commerce.

In the aftermath of last month's scuttling of Intuit's planned acquisition by Microsoft Corp. - a deal blocked by Justice Department antitrust concerns - Scott D. Cook told those attending the American Bankers Association's National Operations and Automation Conference they should not fear that technology companies will usurp banks' traditional role as payment processor and financial adviser to consumers.

"We do a lot of customer research, and one thing that is stunningly clear is that consumers want to bank with financial institutions they know and trust," Mr. Cook said. "People have absolutely no interest in sending their life savings off to the First Bank of Nowhere, or the First Bank of Software."

As a result, Mr. Cook said the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company, which produces the top selling Quicken personal finance software, is close to completing arrangements with about a dozen large banks to launch a home banking service by next year.

Mr. Cook declined to name the banks involved. The American Banker reported last month, however, that U.S. Bancorp, First Chicago Corp., Sanwa Bank of California, and Union Bank are working with Intuit.

"Right now we're in series a of meetings with our bank partners where we're working on implementation issues," Mr. Cook said.

"There are some banks that want to announce now because they want PR, then there are other banks that want to withhold the announcement until they are ready to handle customers, and that's our bias."

Mr. Cook said that Intuit's home banking system, which will allow consumers with PCs to pay bills and verify transactions cleared through their bank, will give clear indications to users when information is coming from their financial institutions, such as displaying a bank's logo on the screen.

"We need to be crystal clear when information is coming from the bank, and that we are only the channel through which communication happens," he stressed.

Mr. Cook said the demise of the Microsoft deal has had no ill- effects with respect to Intuit's work with banks. …

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