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CIBC and three technology partners today unveiled the world’s first banking machine to use Internet technology to bring a new world of services to consumers through an ABM. The new technology will be able to give customers access to everything from theatre and airline tickets to stock certificates and savings bonds.

The “Web ABM” is a CIBC concept that was jointly developed by CIBC, project leader Tandem Computers Canada Limited, Applied Communications Canada Inc. and NCR Canada Ltd. A pilot project with a prototype machine will be in place this summer to allow customers to help determine which of the many potential new features are adopted.

The advanced ABMs will have the ability to permit customers to look up local theatre listings, order the tickets and obtain them right from an ABM rather than wait in line at the show. “Airline tickets, movie tickets, theatre tickets, even paying your taxes — it’s all possible with this technology,” explained Brian Cassidy, CIBC’s executive vice president, electronic banking.

While CIBC is currently introducing new ABMs that offer U.S. currency, exact change and enhanced bill payment services, in the future the Web ABM has the capability to expand into many new services. “The Web ABM represents a significant competitive advantage. It is a world-first and a logical marriage of web browser technology developed for the Internet with the security of automated banking machine technology. It will integrate with our other electronic banking systems and will eventually allow customers to choose from a growing menu of financial and other consumer services,” said Cassidy.

Until now, the ABM has offered identical services to all customers. The power of the Web ABM is that each individual can choose what services they want to regularly access. The new machine will allow customers to personalize its screens to get menus featuring the services they use most and other information they can really use. “Our technology is flexible enough to meet the needs of individuals,” Cassidy said, “so they can personalize this powerful electronic delivery channel.”

With easy-to-use touch-screen technology, the Web ABM will have multi-lingual capability to accommodate customers in Canada and travellers from other countries.

By linking the machines to retailers, it would be possible to check account balances, order catalogues or buy gift certificates. Using other links and secured-form paper that is micro-encoded, the machines can print stock certificates, money orders, insurance forms or even savings bonds.

The prototype machines have been dubbed “Web ABM” because they employ Internet-style web browser technology to allow the customer to access a series of private networks linked to the machine. Financial transactions and private customer information would continue to be routed through existing secure, encrypted data links. All transactions on the machines would be secure and it would not be possible for other computer users to link into the CIBC machines through conventional Internet links.

Cassidy said CIBC will consult with customers as part of the process of deciding which services to offer.

“The growth in electronic banking will continue to be driven by demand for greater consumer choice. Developments like this expand the options for consumers. They will decide what is valuable to them, what services they want,” said Cassidy.

“This machine is a look into the future and what is possible with this technology,” said Cassidy. “We will be establishing a pilot project in the Toronto area by this summer that will help us determine what products and services to offer. In the meantime, we are introducing features like U.S. currency and exact change on new ABMs in major markets in 1997, beginning in the Toronto area.”

“It is clear the automated banking machine will continue to be an important means for expanding the choice customers have in how they access financial services. More Canadians every day use an ABM to do some portion of their banking. Canadians have accepted and embraced automated banking more than any other people in the world. To expand the services we can provide through the machines is a logical use of the technology and a real benefit to our customers,” Cassidy said.

CIBC is one of North America’s largest financial institutions, with over $199 billion in assets and more than 41,000 employees, offering a full range of products and services through more than 1,400 branches and offices across Canada and around the world. CIBC is a Canadian leader in serving clients through a broad choice of convenient electronic channels including debit and credit cards, 3,100 automated banking machines, telephone banking (1-800-465-CIBC), PC banking and the Internet (

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