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NCR Corp. today announced that it signed an agreement to provide hosted online-banking services to small-business customers of Hancock Bank, a $7 billion-asset financial institution based in Gulf Port, Miss. Services from Duluth, Ga.-based NCR will include cash management, business bill payment, automated clearinghouse payment, access management and account monitoring, an NCR spokesperson tells ATM&Debit News, a CardLine sister publication. NCR will host the customized service on its servers, which lowers the bank's upfront capital expenditures and provides Hancock with the ability to move quickly to add new services, the spokesperson says. The online-banking agreement also enables Hancock to reach small-business customers in rural areas where it would not be financially viable to build a branch, the spokesperson adds. Hancock serves customers in Mississippi, Florida, Alabama and Louisiana. The agreement is an example of NCR leveraging its relationships with bank customers, says Gil Luria, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities in Los Angeles. "NCR is looking to sell more products, especially ones that help banks converge their different channels," Luria says. The channels include ATM access, online banking, mobile banking, home banking and remote-deposit capture.  In addition, some NCR client banks are testing allowing customers to make check deposits from their iPhones, which is a step up from regular mobile banking, which includes, viewing balances, bill payment and transferring funds between accounts. Reaching customers through a variety of channels is important, Jeff Theiler, Hancock senior vice president of payment services, said in a statement. "When we decided to offer online banking, it was important to us to find a partner who understood the importance of all of our customers channels–from our branches to our ATM network to online banking," Theiler stated. Still, NCR's ATM business brings in the most revenue, Luria says. "While [online-banking agreements] may help get some incremental contributions from sales of non-ATM products to banks is still a very small piece of total revenue," he says. NCR is the world's largest ATM manufacturer based on annual shipments.

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