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CosmosBay targets U.S. banks

The French company that markets online banking software is coming across the Atlantic, hoping to win customers among community banks in the United States.

A French company that markets online banking software is coming across the Atlantic, hoping to capitalize on nine years of experience with banks using France's Minitel online service.

Stateside, CosmosBay hopes to win customers among community banks which have limited time and money but want to jump onto the Net. It sees mid-size and smaller banks as its easiest target.

CosmosBay will offer its CosmosBay Online Banking System for financial institutions and the CosmosSuite platform for integrating online financial services. It counts more than 350 customers using its software.

"There is a wave in the United States of banks and financial institutions wanting to be able to not miss this wave of serving customers online," Olivier Gachot, CosmosBay's chief executive, said. "It's all about customer retention and acquisition."

CosmosBay says it can get banks online faster and cheaper than its rivals--software providers such as Edify, Security First Network Bank, and BroadVision, which last month introduced its own banking software.

Depending on how much back-end integration is required, CosmoBay expects to get banks up and running in one to two months for $60,000 and more for software and a like amount for integration.

The company's banking software is a customizable, turnkey home banking and bill payment system that can be delivered over the Web, as a phone voice-response system, or in personal finance software. Its tools provide an infrastructure solution for other financial institutions to add online financial services, such a brokerage, by linking to legacy information systems.