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Excite in $125 million banking deal

The Net directory is expected to announce an online banking service deal with Bank One valued at $125 million.

Excite today announced a deal with Bank One to make banking on its portal site more personalized.

Under the terms of the multiyear agreement, Excite will offer a new financial center, as well as personalized banking and bill-payment services, while Bank One will get exclusive rights to market its services on the Net directory's home page. The service is expected to launch during the first half of 1999.

Excite will offer access to Bank One checking and savings accounts, as well as online bill-paying capabilities. Going forward, Bank One customers also will be able to apply for credit cards, home or car loans, and buy insurance online.

Eventually, Bank One intends to offer services from other financial institutions as well.

Excite estimates the deal will generate $125 million in revenue, depending on performance guarantees.

"Users who begin their day at their own personalized front page at Excite will be able, through Bank One, to address nearly all their banking needs on the Internet," Kenneth T. Stevens, chairman of the Bank One retail group, said in a statement. "Moreover, Excite's personalized start page reinforces Bank One's goal to become the most personal big bank in the country."

The deal comes on the heels of another blockbuster online banking agreement between Microsoft's Web portal and First USA, a business unit of Bank One. That five-year, $90 million agreement gives First USA exclusive rights to advertise its credit cards on

In addition, Excite and MasterCard in May formed an alliance to promote e-commerce that will have MasterCard sponsoring the Net directory's shopping channel.

Bank One, with $235 billion in assets, is the nation's largest credit card lender.