Several mostly Asian financial institutions have joined IBM in an alliance to build and standardise electronic commerce and banking services, according to IBM.
The Interactive Financial Services (IFS) alliance, as the group is called, will use IBM's global network as the platform for a range of electronic services for both business and consumers, a spokesman said.
The alliance includes Visa International, St. George Bank of Australia, Royal Bank of Canada, ABN Amro, Bank of Western Australia, Infomas Group of Indonesia and Kookmin Bank in South Korea.
The goal of the group is to set up an open platform for developing compatible services, the IBM spokesman said. The group expects customers using the platform to access bank services such as balance inquiries, fund transfers and electronic bill payments, he added.
The IFS services will be compatible with those being promoted by a similar consortium in North America called the Integrion Financial Network. Started earlier this year, Integrion is owned by IBM, Visa and 18 banks.