RealTime IT News

Yahoo! Banks on Financial Partners

Yahoo! moved Tuesday to expand and extend its financial services in separate deals with Bank One and Nationwide Advantage Mortgage Company (NAMC), the mortgage affiliate of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

Already in a long-term deal with Bank One, Yahoo! said it was expanding the agreement to allow for additional promotional opportunities for both companies, including the marketing of the Bank One brand and its products and services on the Yahoo! network.

Bank One will also continue to issue the Yahoo! Titanium Visa card, a co- branded credit card that allows card holders to earn rewards with every purchase. The financial services giant will also market its other co-branded credit cards, as well as consumer and small business banking products on the Yahoo! network.

Yahoo! also announced it is teaming with NAMC for the launch of "The Best Mortgage" center on Yahoo! en espanol, a Spanish language Internet site based in Coral Gables, Fla. The "mini-site" will provide Spanish-speaking consumers with information, tools and resources related to home buying and financing decisions.

Users will also be able to check NAMC's current mortgage rates and to submit a free loan application online or over the phone.

Bank One hopes to leverage the strength of the Yahoo! network to promote the Bank One brand in conjunction with its advertising campaigns. The expansion of the alliance also allows Bank One to market Yahoo! premium services such as Yahoo! Finance Market Tracker to Bank One card members.

Bank One is the largest Visa card issuer in the world and is the nation's sixth-largest bank holding company with assets of nearly $300 billion.

"We are very pleased to be able to expand our relationship with Bank One to include additional promotional and marketing opportunities for both Yahoo! and Bank One," said Denise McGuire, VP for global alliances at Yahoo!. "The expansion of this agreement speaks to the companies' longstanding commitment to each other's products and services. We are excited about the compelling opportunities ahead."

The partnership between NAMC and Yahoo! en espanol is part of Nationwide's continuous affinity relationship program aimed at new opportunities to expand its products to a diverse consumer group.

"Our research indicates that, historically, the Latino community has had too many barriers to home buying and financing needs," said Robert Kallio, associate vice president of marketing for NAMC. "Our partnership with Yahoo! en espanol provides the informational resources and financial tools to lower the cost of buying and owning a home for the growing Latino market."

U.S. Hispanics are the nation's largest minority group according to data released in June 2003 by the Census Bureau. According to comScore MediaMetrix, there are currently 12.6 million U.S. Hispanics online and represent the fastest growing segment in the online market.

Hispanic Internet adoption is increasing at a rate four times faster than the general market and current penetration rates have reached 33 percent.