The Small Value Payments Company (SVPCo), an electronic payments and processing service owned by 22 US banks and The Clearing House, has selected AT&T to manage its new image exchange network.
SVPCo is in the process of finalising a contract with AT&T to design, build and manage the critical network infrastructure for its new nationwide, inter bank Extranet.
Electronic Clearing Services (ECS), a SVPCo subsidiary that runs electronic cheque presentment and image systems, will introduce the cheque image exchange system - the largest in the US - in Q1 2004. The image exchange utility is an open system where all banks can clear and settle images directly or through other parties.
The bank network design allows for private, secure, high- bandwidth, high-availability data exchanges among network participants and will features multiple carriers for resilience and efficiency.
Banks will be able to connect to the network through circuits provided by SVPCo or their own carrier. Smaller institutions will be able connect over the Web through a secure gateway operated by ECS.
Hank Farrar, president and COO, SVPCo, comments: "AT&T has the technology and experience to build and manage this major network, which must integrate the telecommunications services from carriers across the country."
Farrar says the the new image exchange offers the potential for realising the full benefits of cheque truncation.
Eventually, the network will also be used for other types of inter-bank exchanges of payments-related data such as ECP, ACH and EDI.
SVPCo banks represent 61% of American commercial bank deposits and over 60% of the cheques in the US in the cheque clearing process.