Harbinger Joins Ranks of Small-Business Cash Management Vendors
Tyson, David O., American Banker
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Harbinger Computer Services, an Atlanta-based developer of videotex systems, has introduced an electronic cash management service for small businesses and says six large banks have licensed it.
In an interview here, Harbinger president C. Tycho Howle declined to identify the six but said their assets range from $5 billion to $15 billion. One of them is conducting an internal test of the system.
Called InTouch Cash Manager, the new service is based on the same communications software and data base handling of The Promise, Harbinger's home banking system. But Mr. Howle said the screens have been completely redesigned. InTouch runs on the IBM PC and compatibles.
Harbinger thus joins the growing number of vendors of video banking systems with a product designed for small businesses. Among others who have set their sights on that market are Chemical Bank of New York and Madison National Bank of Washington, D.C.
Mr. Howle said InTouch is similar to the treasury work stations used by large businesses. But he said a company pays between $2,000 and $10,000 to set up a treasury work station and $750 to $1,000 a month to use it.
In contrast, he said, the suggested retail price of InTouch is $495 and operating costs run between $35 and $75 a month, depending on usage. "Now we get into the realm where a small business can afford it," Mr. Howle said.
Mr. Howle is attending the American Bankers Association's combined conferences here on telecommunications and financial networks and on video banking.
Harbinger's home banking system, The Promsie, is used by Fulton Federal Savings & Loan Association in Atlanta. But Mr. Howle said Harbinger now focuses on the small-business market.
"The consumer market is there but it's tiny," he said. …