Milwaukee, WI, December 12, 1997-- Banking has entered a new era with a major licensing deal between M&I Data Services, a top financial software and services provider, and North Communications, a leader in transactional kiosk networks. Bank customers will have access to full-service Web-based electronic banking through sophisticated touchscreens that look like an ATM, but do much more. M&I Data Services has begun selling their customized, branded version of North's kiosk and banking software products to their bank customers nationwide.

With the new kiosk, customers can access their banks' Web sites and services anywhere -- grocery stores, shopping malls, businesses, retail locations, and of course within bank lobbies. Simple touch control, full-motion video and multi-lingual audio make these advanced systems easier to use, more powerful and flexible than current-generation ATMs.

Paul Kennedy, President of North Communications, explained, "These touchscreens provide much more than an additional Internet delivery channel. They enrich Web content with fast, responsive multimedia, as well as with site-specific targeted marketing and cross-selling. Banks need to do much more than just warehouse their customers' cash; M&I is opening worlds of new business opportunity in banking and broad financial applications." Customers can apply for home and auto loans, open checking and savings accounts, access account information, and query useful consumer information such as determining the value of an automobile, as well as current stock quotes. Since the program can include live, on-screen videoconferencing between the consumer and a bank customer service representative, these kiosks maintain the same high level of personal contact that customers find when they walk into a bank.

"We took a good deal of care in selecting a strategic ally in this fast-growing and vital area," says Al Dominick, president of Retail Product Delivery Group for M&I Data Services. "The track record, organizational commitment, advanced technology and clear quality of the actual product moved us to select North Communications."

M&I Data Services began showing the new kiosk technology to customers in early October at its headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Currently, banks buy services like home banking over the Internet, electronic funds transfer, traditional ATM network installation and management, credit, debit and smartcards from M&I Data; it is the second-largest such firm in the United States. The new advanced banking kiosks are a natural extension of that product line.

M&I's branded multimedia software runs on North Communications' NetGain platform, which extends the capabilities of Microsoft Internet Explorer to add support for touchscreens, motion video, ATM devices, laser printers, complete control over Web navigation, network management and air-tight security. NetGain includes both client and server components running under Windows NT.

M&I Data Services, with more than 30 years in the data processing industry, offers advanced software and services to over 860 financial institutions nationwide, including service bureau options for Internet banking. The company is also a leading provider of Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) processing, with links to all of the major regional and national networks, and is affiliated with M&I Bank. It is a division of Marshall and Ilsley Corporation, a $13.3-billion holding company; both are headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. More information is available at

Based in Marina del Rey, California, North Communications is a designer, manufacturer, and operator of transactional kiosk networks for the public and private sectors. The company is known for its award-winning work in ground-breaking projects in California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida, and New York and internationally in Canada, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia. It was the first company in the world to develop and deploy a Web-based kiosk system, at the Superbowl in January, 1995. More information can be found on the Web at and; NetGain software, including free download of the software for evaluation, is at


For more information, contact:
North Communications
Theresa Laird, Public Relations
310-577-7700 x7305; email [email protected]