Pegasystems Inc. (NASDAQ: PEGA) today released PegaBANKING Smart Adjust™ 4.1, the retail banking industry's leading cross-payment platform for automating payment exception handling.
Addressing exceptions in check, ACH, debit card, ATM and other areas, Smart Adjust 4.1 allows customers to manage payment exceptions with a single solution, dramatically lowering the cost of handling non-standard transactions of any payment type. New features include the ability to process substitute checks and automate handling of ACH disputes. Support for substitute checks in all research and adjustment processes. Smart Adjust allows retail banks to seamlessly manage paper checks, images and substitute checks for customer inquiry, customer dispute and inter-bank adjustment purposes. ACH return automation, a new capability that eases the costs and risks of exponentially escalating ACH volumes by intelligently researching and responding to customer disputes of ACH transactions. Smart Adjust provides end-to-end automation of case initiation, accounting, correspondence, document management, regulatory compliance management and inter-bank communication for such disputes. Pre-packaged integration with Pegasystems' enterprise exception monitoring application, for proactive monitoring and reporting capabilities across multiple departments. This complements the pre-existing integration that Smart Adjust offers with Pegasystems' components for image retrieval and viewing, and transaction data storage and research.
Smart Adjust 4.1 has been built to help banks comply with the new Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (or 'Check 21') regulations, by providing the capabilities necessary to handle substitute checks – as well as paper checks, check images, ACH and other electronic payment types. By handling disputes, errors, and issues across all types of payments, Smart Adjust helps financial institutions and service bureaus streamline their operations and deploy a single solution to address payment issues.
Built on Pegasystems' newest version of its industry-leading, Java-based BPM platform, Smart Adjust is built for change and can be easily adapted to suit evolving business needs and industry practices. Smart Adjust 4.1 is Pegasystems' latest version of its retail payment exception solution and utilises Pegasystems' proven success in automating exceptions handling for leading banks for the past 15 years.
Smart Adjust 4.1's new functionality includes:
"Banks today face enormous change in responding to Check 21, preparing for image exchange and supporting the escalating volumes of electronic payments," said Robert Hunt, a Retail and Wholesale Banking analyst at leading advisory and consulting firm TowerGroup. "The real challenges lie in the disputes, exceptions and customer issues that arise with these changes. Banks need a single solution that manages exceptions for checks and electronic payments that is flexible enough to adapt to changing business needs, and which provides cross-department processing capability for effective management of all payment types."
Check 21's arrival and the growth of electronic payments are driving up exception management costs significantly. ACH network volume grew 21 percent year over year in the second quarter of 2004, and ACH debit returns are projected to grow 18 percent from 2004 to 2005, according to NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association. Smart Adjust keeps exception management costs under control, replacing costly manual work with automated processing that researches transactions, manages images and correspondence, performs intelligent decisioning and resolves cases without human intervention. In addition to increasing operational efficiency, the application dramatically reduces write-off expenses by resolving cases faster, and improves customer service by delivering information and images to the front office in real-time.
"The transaction exceptions that impose high operational costs and risks on financial institutions can often be quickly resolved when automated solutions are properly applied to the problem," said Pegasystems CEO Alan Trefler. "We've added greater intelligence to Smart Adjust with each release, so that banks and service bureaus can handle a greater proportion of payment exceptions automatically and profit from the growing volume of electronic transactions."