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IBM and US banks form cheque imaging venture

02 November 2000  |  4679 views  |  0 branches counter

Bank of America and Chase Manhattan are teaming up with IBM to launch a new company designed to jump-start the US banking industry's conversion to cheque imaging.

The new venture, Viewpointe Archive Services, has been established to create a common digital archive for cheque images. The facility will aim to manage the exchange of cheque images among US banks, reduce cheque processing costs by as much as 30 percent and lay the foundation for consumers to retrieve digitised cheque images from the Web. The service is expected to be operational later this year.

While Viewpointe will focus initially on facilitating online retrieval of such items as cheques and account statements, its vision is to provide a national digital archive for all items created during banking transactions. After that point, member banks will be able to share digitised images electronically, say the partners, significantly cutting processing costs and improving customer service and fraud detection.

In creating the archive, Viewpointe member banks will capture digital images of cheque and cheque-related items as they are processed and cleared, and then transmit these images to one of two archiving centres managed by IBM.

"We clear more than 44 million cheques a day, 11.6 billion a year," says James Dixon, bankofamerica.com executive. "This archive will allow our customers to see and print their cleared cheques at our Web-enabled ATMs or in our banking centres."

The West Coast bank has already launched a cheque-imaging pilot in Atlanta to determine the benefits of a digitised processing environment. "In the next few months, we will begin to roll it out to our banking centres," says Dixon.

The two founding banks clear more than 56 million cheques a day or 14 billion cheques a year.

The cheque archive, originally implemented by Chase, has been in use for over three years at the bank. Chase spent more than four years developing the solution and has contributed the technology and intellectual capital to the new company. The technology platform consists of numerous hardware and software products developed by IBM and software house Cheque Solutions.

The partners say the new company will provide individual banks with a cost-effective alternative to acquiring, installing and managing expensive image and archive technology on their own. Participating banks should be able to reduce their image platform installation time by as much as a third.

IBM Global Services will manage the information technology infrastructure for Viewpointe Archive Services with the cheque image archives located at two data centres in Dallas and Boulder, Colorado.

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