Westpac Banking Corporation has reached an agreement with Unisys Payment Services Limited (UPSL) to outsource its day one processing activity, a component in the three day cheque clearance cycle.
Greg Conway, chief operating officer, operations, says the initiative will enable Westpac to upgrade to the latest technology without investing large sums up-front.
Unisys will utilise new imaging technology where cheque vouchers are scanned and stored electronically. The value of the agreement is in the order of $140 million over seven years, reaping estimated savings for the bank of 30% over current costs.
Approximately 500 employees are affected by the agreement. Conway says Westpac will be seeking to ensure employment for as many people as possible within UPSL or other areas of the bank.
Unisys currently processes about 49% of the UK's cheque volume through UPSL, a joint venture company established with Lloyds TSB and Barclays. The Australian UPSL subsidiary was established following Unisys' acquisition of cheque processing specialist Austrapay in February.