NU Online News Service, July 23, 6:44 p.m. – Bank customers may yawn at the idea of account aggregation, but aggregation can lead to tremendous cross-selling opportunities for the banks, says John Philpott, director of corporate strategy for S1 Corp., Atlanta.

Account aggregation makes information about all of a customer’s financial accounts available through a single Web page.

With aggregation, a customer can go to one on-line location to track brokerage accounts, checking accounts, charge cards, loans and insurance accounts from a variety of vendors.

Banks are competing for account aggregation business with brokerage firms, other types of financial-services companies and Web services companies.

More than 70% of banks will offer customers on-line account aggregation by the end of 2003, according to Forrester Research Inc., Cambridge, Mass., a market research firm. But Forrester also reports seeing relatively little interest in aggregation among consumers.

S1 sells banks software that gives customers the ability to view their transaction history, transfer money between bank accounts and complete other transactions on line. The software also gives the bank a way to keep tabs on the results of its own contacts with the customer, whether the contacts be through personal visits, telephone calls or on-line transactions.

S1 recently bought an account-aggregation software vendor, Yodlee, Inc., Redwood City, Calif.

Philpott predicts aggregation technology will attract more consumers by simplifying their transactions.

“A lot of gross statistics show a lull in account aggregation, but I think [bank] customers are interested,” Philpott says.

For the institution that has the aggregated data, the advantages could be tremendous, Philpott adds.

“As an institution, the more you can interact with customers, the more they can interact with you,” Philpott says. “This lets you know if they’re high net worth individuals and whether they are candidates for a mortgage or home equity loans. So it’s a good technology for building financial relationships.”