Community Bank Milestone from Upstate New York - Internet Bill-Payment Service
Bloom, Jennifer Kingson, American Banker
Oneonta, N.Y., is about to get something that most major cities do not have: an Internet-based bill-paying service through the local bank.
Oneonta, a college town of 15,000 in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, is home to Wilber National Bank. By the end of next week, the community bank will be offering more interactive banking options than most larger banks.
Customers will be able to use multiple devices - telephones, screen phones, the Internet, and home banking software - interchangeably to do their banking, said Robert W. Moyer, Wilber's chief executive officer.
Wilber will apparently be the first community bank to put such a service into operation, though others are planning them.
"Our customers will be able to pay their bills through the Internet, and to check their balances and transfer funds," Mr. Moyer said.
"If we can be out there as a $500 million bank doing this, I think it's pretty exciting."
Wilber will be the first bank with a transactional Web site using a service offered by Online Resources and Communications Corp. of McLean, Va. The seven-year-old company is best known for having pioneered the development of screen telephones.
Online Resources is selling its expertise in Web site building to banks, and offers home banking options that most rival companies do not.
It charges banks about $25,000 to set up to Internet bill payment and other transactional services. The job takes about six months. Once the service is up and running, Online charges a monthly maintenance fee.
Joe Koshuta, director of product planning and Internet services for Online Resources, said that "more than a handful" of banks have signed up for the service, which is called Web Teller. …