Magazine article American Banker

Comerica Group Working on an Online Strategy

Magazine article American Banker

Comerica Group Working on an Online Strategy

Article excerpt

Like many bankers at midsize institutions, Comerica Inc. executives know they are not making the most of the Internet but have not figured out exactly what to do.

Last week the Detroit company said it had assigned five executives to a new group, Internet and payment systems strategy, that is working exclusively on developing a better Internet strategy.

Comerica does offer online banking and brokerage services but says it feels pressure from competitors and corporate clients to come up with something more compelling.

"We realize that we need to become more serious about the Internet," said Richard G. Lyons, a senior vice president who is in charge of the new group. "Many of our units felt pressure to respond to the market."

Comerica is particularly feeling the heat from its corporate clients, who are "becoming more Internet-savvy" and demanding more sophisticated services, Mr. Lyons said,

Like many of its peer-group banking companies, Comerica has found itself lost in a sea of advice about how to embrace the Internet. The company no longer wants to sit on the sidelines watching larger rivals dominate the market.

One goal of the Internet and payment systems strategy group is to "Web-enable the bank and decide how to take our products and services and offer them online," Mr. Lyons said.

Another is an internal reorganization that would break down the "silos" that separate business lines. "Customers do not see us in terms of lines of business -- they see us as a combined entity, and that is what we need to work toward," Mr. …

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