PNC Bank to Offer E-Commerce Service to Small Businesses; PNC and Intel's iCat Division Team Up to Offer Affordable and Professional Online Store Development

Sep 28, 1999, 01:00 ET from PNC Bank Corp.

    PITTSBURGH, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- PNC Bank (NYSE:   PNC) will offer small
 businesses an easy-to-use, low-cost E-commerce creation service as the result
 of an agreement signed today with iCat, a division of Intel (Nasdaq:   INTC).
 PNC Bank will offer the award-winning iCat Commerce Online Service through its
 corporate web site at  The service, named iSites@PNC Bank,
 will allow business owners to build a distinctive online storefront or to
 place customized online sales capabilities on their existing Web sites in as
 little as an hour for an initial fee of $50.  Through these sites, business
 owners can advertise, sell products, track sales and access PNC Bank's
 distinct customer base through its online mall.
     "We want to help our customers to distinguish themselves from their
 competitors and to grow their businesses through a simple entree into the
 E-commerce marketplace," said Jim Graham, executive vice president of Business
 Banking for PNC Bank.  "We are particularly pleased to be working with Intel's
 iCat Division because of the company's leadership and experience in providing
 E-commerce services to small and mid-sized businesses worldwide.  With the new
 iCat service, PNC helps address many of the issues that have kept small
 business from developing Web sites, including high entry costs, limited
 technical knowledge and time constraints.  For many small businesses, iSites
 will provide the opportunity to uniquely position their products and enable
 them to rapidly change in order to beat the competition as well as to expand
 their markets throughout the country and around the world."
     "We have helped thousands of small businesses enter the world of
 E-commerce and have learned what it takes to help them be successful," said
 Doug Schulze, general manager, iCat.  "Building an online store is only step
 one.  Helping merchants drive traffic to their stores and creating sales
 channels that help their products to be put in front of the most qualified set
 of eyes is the most important element.  PNC Bank's iSites' customers will
 receive these services while working through a provider that they trust to
     PNC has anticipated how e-commerce solutions can revolutionize the way its
 customers conduct business online and has developed a recognized leadership
 position in retail banking through its innovative Web-based instant loan
 approvals and speedy check delivery.  The development of iSites@PNC Bank will
 utilize the company's e-commerce experience to benefit small businesses.
     To be launched in October, PNC's new service is convenient, affordable and
 a user-friendly way to develop and manage an Internet site.  Business owners
 who use an outside firm to design their online stores often spend thousands of
 dollars and are faced with ongoing expensive maintenance costs.  With PNC's
 service, customers pay an initial fee of $50 and an even smaller monthly fee
 for hosting and maintaining their sites.
     Customers needing help with their online stores will be able to speak with
 a merchant support specialist who will guide them through the process.  Once
 completed, the store can be automatically registered with leading Internet
 search engines.  Storeowners can be notified by e-mail when orders for their
 products have been placed.  Additionally, PNC Merchant Services will provide
 turnkey credit card processing to allow their merchants the ability to
 receive, authorize, and process credit card orders through their iSites'
 storefronts 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.
     The storefronts created by iSites' customers will be hosted by iCat and
 will be exposed to a number of services to help raise visibility of their
 stores and products.  Store Owners can help to drive traffic to their sites by
 utilizing a group of services iCat offers to its customers, which include the
 ability to place banner ads, send e-mail to customers and prospects lists and
 to create a custom URL.  The merchants will also have the option to be
 included in PNC's new online mall of small businesses, which will be marketed
 to the bank's 3 million customers.  Additionally, merchants who meet a set of
 criteria will be able to place their products in the upcoming Excite Shopping
 service, currently scheduled to open in time for the holidays.
     The E-commerce store creation service is just one of a suite of services
 PNC Bank offers to small business to support their financing, investment and
 transactional needs in today's competitive marketplace.  PNC's relationship
 with iCat marks the latest development in the bank's overall electronic
 commerce strategy to expand Internet delivery of its services and provide Web
 services to its Business Banking customers.
     PNC's Web site also features online auto and home equity loan applications
 with 15-second responses; online bill payment; and access to deposit
 applications.  In alliance with AAA Financial Services, PNC has also created
 one of the most innovative delivery systems in the country that enables AAA
 members to pick up their loan checks the same day their applications are
     About PNC
     PNC Bank Corp. ( headquartered in Pittsburgh (NYSE:   PNC),
 is one of the largest diversified financial services organizations in the
 United States.  Its major businesses include Regional Community Banking,
 Corporate Banking, PNC Advisors, Mortgage Banking, Secured Lending, Asset
 Management and Mutual Fund Services.  PNC Bank has $75.6 billion in assets.
 It is the nation's fourth largest private bank manager of high net worth
 assets, the eighth largest asset-based lending company and the 11th largest
 servicer of residential mortgages.
     About iCat
     iCat, a division of Intel, is a leading provider of E-commerce services
 for small- to medium-sized businesses.  The iCat E-commerce Provider Program
 was launched in May 1999.  The program enables companies to immediately
 establish their presence as providers of E-commerce services for their own
 customers without having to shoulder the substantial cost of development.  For
 more information, visit the iCat Web site at
     About Intel
     Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturing of
 computer, networking and communications products.  Additional information
 about Intel is available at
     Small business owners seeking more information about this service should
 e-mail PNC at