ARN

NAB invests $12 million in local ASP

National Australia Bank (NAB) subsidiary O2e has invested a total of $12 million in local ASP Peakhour in a deal which will see Peakhour's offerings offered to NAB's 350,000-strong SME customer base.

From November, NAB will offer SME customers several online services delivered via a Web browser under the "National" brand. These services include online business banking, accounting systems, cashflow analysis tools, billing and fulfilment, chat, free e-mail and remote office capabilities.

Peakhour CEO David Harrington expects to capture as much as $3000 a year from each NAB customer using those services supplied by Peakhour, adding the deal is a "blue-chip" endorsement of Peakhour's credibility as an ASP. He admits that the wholesale offering may be a "point of contention", considering Peakhour's retail services, but expects little difficulty by having the two channels working side by side.

"We are indifferent to whether we take a customer through a retail or a wholesale arrangement. We have to pay sales and marketing costs for each retail customer, but with wholesale deals like this, the National already has the customers."