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IBM forms venture for online banking

The computing giant says it has set up a joint venture with telephone services provider Alltel to provide an online banking system to financial businesses in Europe.

    Computing giant IBM on Tuesday said it has formed a joint venture with telephone services provider Alltel to provide an online banking system to financial businesses in Europe.

    The new system, dubbed Corebank, will enable financial service organizations to develop, market and implement new products through delivery channels such as the Internet, the companies said in a joint statement.

    Alltel, of Little Rock, Ark., will manage the marketing, development, enhancement and maintenance of the Corebank product, while Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM will be responsible for sales and implementation services.

    Based in London, the joint venture will be known as Alltel Corebanking Solutions. The alliance expands an existing partnership between the companies and provides Alltel with a position in IBM's PartnerWorld program. Under the agreement, Alltel will be the preferred provider of Corebank systems, which run on the IBM eServer zSeries with OS/390 software and the IBM DB2 Universal Database.

    The software and services will help connect banks to customers and process transactions and communications over the Internet. The venture also is designed to help banks collect and analyze information about customer usage for changing, developing and marketing new banking products, the statement said.

    The products will first be sold in markets in Germany and France.

    Alltel, which provides local, long-distance and wireless phone services, last month said it would eliminate 1,000 jobs, or 3.7 percent of its work force, and reduce the number of regions in which it operates in a bid to lower expenses.