Four industry leaders announced today that they have reached an agreement in principle to form a venture to develop the world’s first system designed to deliver financial services to consumers over their television sets. BankAmerica Corporation (NYSE: BAC), the nation's third largest bank holding company, Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ: INTU), a world leader in financial software and Web-based services, Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI), a leading cable and telecommunications company, and @Home Network (NASDAQ:ATHM), the leader in high speed Internet services via the cable television infrastructure, said that their venture will enable cable customers to use their televisions and upcoming "next generation" set top devices to access many of the comprehensive financial planning and management tools currently available only to desktop software and Internet users.
With this new technology, consumers will be able to check account balances and transfer funds between accounts at participating financial institutions; electronically receive, review and pay bills; manage investments; shop and apply for mortgages, consumer loans and insurance; prepare and file taxes; and access other financial services provided through Bank of America or other financial institutions. These same services will be available to @Home customers on both the personal computer and television.
The alliance will provide financial services from a variety of financial institutions and other content providers utilizing Intuit technology. These services are expected to be available, via advanced digital set-top devices, to customers of TCI Communications, Inc., the cable operating unit of TCI Group (NASDAQ: TCOMA) beginning in 1999. @Home Network has agreed in principle to integrate the new venture’s interactive financial services into its high speed Internet service.
"With this new venture, Bank of America once again is leading the way to the future of our industry," said David A. Coulter, Chairman and CEO of BankAmerica Corporation. "Cable television delivery promises to revolutionize the way consumers access their financial services and pay for purchases -- right off their television sets. Bank of America already provides customers with tremendous convenience and choice, allowing them to handle their financial needs when they want, where they want, and how they want. As we rapidly approach the new millennium, this venture will provide millions of consumers -- regardless of their financial services provider -- with what we believe will be the ultimate in convenience and choice."
The venture is strengthened by the credentials of each participant, each a leading provider in its respective industry. Bank of America is recognized as a prominent financial services provider, offering financial expertise, a broad portfolio of products and services and superior brand recognition. Bank of America is also one of the largest providers of online banking and online payments. Additionally, the technology of Intuit that powers its comprehensive financial tools and functionality, currently offered to consumers via its Quicken® desktop software and at the Quicken.com™ Web site, will allow customers to access many of these services. The advanced digital cable technology development of TCI, combined with the distribution available through TCIC’s cable operations, will bring these new offerings to a broad range of customers and communities over the next several years.
"This initiative makes huge strides in automating financial services for millions of cable subscribers who don't have Internet access," said Scott Cook, Chairman and co-founder of Intuit. "Working with TCI, Bank of America and @Home, we are extending our current open technology platform and creating a compelling new way to deliver financial content and services to consumers. In the process, we are also collaborating to provide an extraordinary new vehicle for financial institutions to deliver their financial services."
"This agreement adds tremendous value to the host of consumer goods and services that we plan to offer over our advanced digital platform," said Leo J. Hindery, Jr., President of TCI. "With innovative industry leaders such as Bank of America and Intuit, we look forward to offering our customers the full benefits of the broadband cable network, including in-home features and transactional convenience that have not been available to consumers before."
The establishment of this enterprise is subject to the signing of definitive agreements and all appropriate regulatory approvals. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"Consumers are being inundated with information, creating an extremely complex financial landscape," said Tom Jermoluk, Chairman and CEO of @Home Network. "By incorporating trusted information from Bank of America and technology from Intuit directly into the @Home service, we are providing customers with an unparalleled, one-stop-shop for services and resources that will help them set and reach their financial goals through the PC or TV."
San Francisco-based BankAmerica Corporation is the nation's third largest bank holding company, based on market capitalization. BankAmerica and its major banking subsidiary -- Bank of America NT&SA -- operates more than 1,800 retail branch offices in nine states and 7,700 Versateller ATMs. Bank of America can be reached on the Internet at http://www.bankamerica.com and on America Online at Keyword:BofA. With offices in 38 countries throughout the world, BankAmerica provides a wide array of retail and wholesale banking products and services to consumers and corporate clients.
Intuit Inc., a financial software and Web-based services company, develops and markets Quicken, the leading personal financial software; TurboTax®, the best-selling tax preparation software; and QuickBooks®, the most popular small business accounting software. Intuit's Quicken.com Web site offers a complete set of personal financial news, information and tools, including leading investment, mortgage, and insurance sites. Intuit's products and services enable individuals, small businesses and financial professionals to better manage their financial lives and businesses.
Tele-Communications, Inc. is traded through the TCI Group, the TCI Ventures Group and the Liberty Media Group common stocks. The Series A and Series B TCI Group common stocks are traded on the National Market tier of the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbols of TCOMA and TCOMB, respectively. The Series A and Series B TCI Ventures Group common stocks are traded on the National Market tier of the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbols of TCIVA and TCIVB, respectively.
Based in Redwood City, California, @Home Network (NASDAQ: ATHM) distributes high-speed interactive services to residences and businesses using its own network architecture and a variety of transport options including the cable industry's hybrid-fiber coaxial infrastructure. The cable connection provides users significant increases in speed over conventional Internet services. Leveraging the "always on" attributes of cable, @Home allows for unique multimedia applications that go beyond current Web experiences. Individuals seeking additional information about availability and subscription can refer to the @Home Network Web site (http://www.home.net). Since its founding in May 1995, @Home Network has reached affiliate agreements with eight leading cable companies in North America, including Tele-Communications Inc., Cablevision Systems Corp., Comcast Corporation, Cox Communications, Intermedia Partners, Marcus Cable, Rogers Cablesystems Limited and Shaw Communications.