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What's Next? Online Banks. This is not your father's checking account. Today's online business banking services do the work for you so you can get back to business as usual.

By Mark Henricks

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Online banking started as and continues to be primarily aconsumer-targeted service, but the vital business banking sector isincreasingly becoming a focus for banks big and small. Ifyou're one of the millions of start-ups considering using anonline bank, it can be difficult to decide which one of the local,regional or national banks will be best. In the table below, wemake that choice a little easier by comparing and contrasting keyfeatures of the online offerings of some of the nation'sbiggest banks.

You'll see that you can do a lot of banking-probably farmore than you would imagine-using only your PC and an Internetconnection. And if you don't see what you need in the way ofonline access to banking services and information, be patient: JohnHagerty, vice president of e-business applications at Bostonresearch firm AMR Research Inc., says banks are preparing to offeronline services that simply couldn't have existed before theInternet.

Can you imagine a bank that not only handles your checkingaccount, but also supplies you with a third-party-hosted Web siteand e-commerce software? That's already here. Before long, saysHagerty, banks that find instant financing for your customers'e-purchases, using online credit auctions to make sure yourvaluable customers get the best deal available, will becommonplace. "This stuff is just starting," he says."Banks are realizing they can either be a commodity, or theycan help make markets. Those that have foresight are choosing tofacilitate commerce as opposed to just being there."

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