December 01, 2000

When Commerce Bank of Kansas City decided its e-banking offerings needed some sizzle, it turned to iPortBiz, anInternet portal designed by Magnet Communications, an Atlanta-based software developer. Launched in October, the portal provides Commerce Bank's small business customers with a cornucopia of customized news and banking services.

Although Commerce Bank offered electronic banking before, iPortBiz is designed especially for smaller business customers, with electronic services such as cash management tools. As small businesses grow, they may access these services via the portal.

The portal provides one-stop shopping for the professional services a small business might need, said Andrew Kaplan, senior vice president of commercial product development at $11.4 billion Commerce Bank. iPortBiz integrates with Magnet-based back-office applications already in use at the bank, he added.

Through iPortBiz, Commerce Bank provides basic online services, such as ACH transactions, balance reporting, international wire transfers, online loan applications, stock portfolio monitoring-all branded by the bank as CommerceBusinessTools.com.

During the first phase of the project, the bank is distributing information like weather reports and industry-specific news through the portal. The next phase will include 401(k) services and a business-to-business directory, where for a $50 fee businesses can advertise their services. "You can go to the Yellow Pages or go to our business directory," Kaplan said, adding that the bank also plans to offer electronic bill payment.