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11/30/2006
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Intuit Seeks Bigger Piece Of Online Banking Through Digital Insight Purchase

Intuit is looking to convince banks to offer services beyond traditional online checking, savings, and bill payment. These new would include small business services such as invoicing and payment processing, as well as consumer services such as tracking spending, or planning for retirement or college.

Intuit is looking to give bank customers many of the capabilities found in its popular financial software. That's why Intuit agreed to buy online banking service provider Digital Insight for $1.35 billion cash.

Intuit announced the acquisition plans on Thursday shortly before financial markets opened. The deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of next year, would add 1,760 financial institutions to Intuit's customer base, and $214 million in annual revenues. Intuit's sales for the fiscal year ended July 31 were $2.3 billion.

Intuit hopes to convince Digital Insight customers to add online capabilities that would appeal to small businesses and consumers. Today, banks primarily offer services that relate to what people have already done -- checks written, deposits made or bills paid. Intuit wants to help them offer more. "Consumers and small businesses want something different, and the banks want to offer them something different," Martha Deevy, vice president of Intuit's financial institutions group, said.

What would be different for small businesses could, for example, include creating, sending and tracking invoices; as well as having customers send payments, all done online. "All of a sudden, you start viewing your bank as more of a partner in your business," Paul Rosenfeld, director of product marketing for Intuit's financial institutions group, said.

For consumers, Intuit could help banks provide better online tools for numerous financial chores, such as tracking spending, or planning for retirement, taxes or college tuition.

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