The Federal Reserve Banks are migrating their archive of around 10 billion cheque images from an in-house system to IBM and bank-backed Viewpointe in a bid to cut costs.
The 12 banks' FedImage archive currently contains nearly 10 billion cheque images and serves more than 1000 financial institution customers. The storage of images will be moved to Viewpointe over the next 18 months.
Fred Herr, SVP, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, says: "The decision to move the storage of cheque images to Viewpointe is consistent with other efforts in recent years to reduce our cheque infrastructure costs and maintain long-term viability. This move allows us to offer our customers state-of-the-art storage technology, reliability and resiliency."
Diane Scott, president, Viewpointe Emerging Business, adds: "With its shared infrastructure, the Viewpointe archive allows the Reserve Banks to share fixed costs among multiple financial institutions instead of single-handedly absorbing the total cost of archiving."
According to the Federal Reserve Board, the number of cheques deposited electronically grew rapidly in 2008. In August, the proportion deposited with the Reserve Banks for collection was around 83% and by the end of the year this was expected to surpass 90%.
The number of cheques presented electronically using Check 21 products also grew steadily last year. In August, 57% of the Reserve Banks' volume was presented using Check 21 products and this was expected to reach nearly 70% by the end of 2008.