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NORTH AMERICA BYTES

Bank of America chooses Compaq to provide single-source service, support and hardware; ING Aetna Financial Services selects an insurance distribution solution from BISYS; U.S. Bancorp to use a private-label, Web-based 401k product from ExpertPlan; First Citizens Bank licenses online banking software from Financial Fusion; Fiserv acquires EPSIIA.

Bank of America has chosen Compaq Computer to provide single-source service, support and hardware to the bank's corporate offices and banking center locations in the U.S.

The three-year contract includes a substantial amount of hardware: 90,000 to 120,000 desktop PCs, 4,000 professional workstations and 6,000 ProLiant servers. Services, which represent about one-third of the value of the deal, include service and support, financing and order fulfillment.

"By consolidating the sourcing of these services and products across the country through Compaq, we'll secure efficiencies that mean lower costs and improved service at the same time," said Tim Arnoult, technology & operations executive for Bank of America.

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ING Aetna Financial Services has selected New York City-based BISYS to provide an insurance distribution solution for its 1,400 plus brokers and agents.

The BISYS system will provide the sales force with access to insurance products offered by more than 200 leading carriers, including traditional and variable life, long-term care, and disability insurance. BISYS will also provide application processing and case management services.

"Leveraging the strength of BISYS' relationship with hundreds of insurance carriers will enhance our ability to meet specific consumer demands for greater flexibility and choice," said Catherine Smith, president of Health, Education and Government Distribution for ING Aetna Financial Services, a subsidiary of Netherlands-based ING Group.

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U.S. Bancorp has selected ExpertPlan, based in Cranbury, N.J., to provide a private-label Web-based 401(k) product for banking and brokerage customers of U.S. Bank and U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray.

ExpertPlan will provide record-keeping and transaction management services on behalf of U.S. Bancorp over the Internet, allowing plan participants to manage their own accounts.

"U.S. Bank is constantly striving to provide its clients with quality, convenience and innovation," said John Paulus, senior vice president of Institutional Trust & Custody at U.S. Bank. "Web-enabled 401(k) plans deliver on that promise, and are a win-win model for plan sponsors and participants."

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First Citizens Bank, an $11.2 billion bank headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., has licensed online banking software from Financial Fusion.

The bank will use Financial Fusion Server and Consumer e-Finance Suite to provide banking, customer care, one-to-one marketing and content syndication to its online banking clients.

"Effective delivery channels are essential to First Citizens' commitment to maintaining the most comprehensive financial relationships with our customers," said Jeff Ward, group vice president and manager of FC Direct, the online division of First Citizens. "Financial Fusion will help us combine the quality service our customers expect with easy access to services and products via the Internet."

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Fiserv has acquired EPSIIA Corporation, based in Austin, Texas, a provider of large-scale electronic archival, retrieval and presentment solutions.

EPSIIA's product line includes Digital Xpress Reports, which provides businesses with advanced archival tools along with the ability to output to multiple media, from microfiche to the Web.

"EPSIIA has a reputation for excellence in developing technology-intensive software solutions that eliminate paperwork, improve productivity and enhance customer service," said Leslie Muma, president and CEO of Fiserv, based in Brookfield, Wis. "EPSIIA will provide Fiserv with a technologically superior method for storing and delivering electronic documents that adds a new dimension to our current offerings."

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