Bank of Montreal has launched a new online marketplace for small business and mid-sized enterprise customers.
Business customers will be able to use the Web-based service to meet their procurement, information, administrative, reporting and processing needs, says the bank.
eScout, an e-business services provider, is the first offering in the marketplace with its online purchasing system, accessible through www.bmo.com/escout, which enables consumers to purchase computer equipment and office supplies via the Web.
As the marketplace evolves, additional products, such as auction, tendering, and region-specific services will be added.
Marnie Kinsley, executive vice-president, e-business, Bank of Montreal, comments: "No matter how big or small, customers can benefit from having access to a wide range of products and resources via a single Web site in addition to a variety of discounts and promotions that will be offered on an ongoing basis."
To encourage Canadian businesses to try the Bank of Montreal Online Marketplace, the eScout service will be offered free until 31 October, 2002. After that date, a yearly membership fee of $49.95 plus tax will enable full access to this eScout service for up to three users per company. As an additional incentive to try out the service now, customers that spend $100 or more on their first purchase will receive a $25 rebate. The promotion will run until 30 April, 2002.
In addition to a multi-year licensing fee, Bank of Montreal has committed to invest CDN$10.8 million in eScout. Charles Piermarini, senior vice president of venture creation for Bank of Montreal, has joined eScout's board of directors.