Et Tu, Royal Bank of Canada? S1 Is Spurned Again
Toonkel, Jessica, American Banker
Royal Bank of Canada has joined a string of banks that, though they are part owners of S1 Corp., have given key contracts to S1 rivals.
Though it holds a 25% stake in S1 Corp., a provider of Internet banking software, the Toronto bank has hired Magnet Communications to set up a corporate Internet banking service for business customers.
Royal uses S1's products and services to operate its Internet banking service for retail customers. But Magnet, based in S1's hometown of Atlanta, has more experience in corporate banking software, industry experts said.
Brian McArthur, vice president of cash management at Royal Bank, said Magnet is the "best in its class." However, Royal's relationship with S1 "is still important and critical" on the retail end, Mr. McArthur said.
Under the agreement with Magnet, Royal Bank's business clients will have access to Magnet's iBank products, which facilitate online funds transfer, balance reporting, money market investments, and file transfers.
Royal Bank expects to begin testing the software this summer and to offer it to its more than 400,000 business clients in early 2001, Mr. McArthur said.
Scott Appleby, senior electronic finance analyst at Robertson Stephens, the investment banking division of FleetBoston Financial Corp., said S1 is new to corporate Internet banking, so it made sense for Royal Bank to choose a different vendor. S1 began offering corporate Internet banking after it purchased FICS Group, a Belgian corporate banking software provider, last June. …