Wachovia forms cash management services unit; first cheque image received via SwiftNet

Source: Wachovia

Wachovia's Treasury Services group today announced the formation of a new business unit within its sales organization that will provide cash management solutions to the clients of Wachovia's global correspondent banking client base.

Called Alliance Services International, the unit will be managed by Louis Serpe, a senior vice president within Treasury Services.

The goal of Alliance Services International is to provide Wachovia's international correspondent banking clients the ability to offer USD cash management solutions to small, medium and large corporate customers by leveraging the cash management solutions of Wachovia's Treasury Services group. Wachovia is the number three cash management provider in the US. By using Alliance Services, partner banks will have the ability to earn a new and previously unavailable stream of fee income from their customers without an additional technology investment.

"Alliance Services International is an extremely flexible option that allows our best correspondent bank customers the ability to add Wachovia's 70-plus cash management services to their existing non-credit product suite and to reap financial benefit from these services," said Serpe.

Wachovia will be adding significant resources to the new unit.

"We find that correspondent banks are thrilled with our capability because it levels the playing field, and keeps our clients' customers 'shopping at home' instead of using global competitors who already have made strides into building local corporate market share," said Maya Vovchuk, vice president and senior sales officer of Alliance Services International and who reports to Serpe.

Separately, Wachovia Bank, the fourth largest bank in the US, has announced the successful receipt of the first Remote Image Cash Letter file sent via SWIFTNet.

The file was sent to Wachovia by Banco Popular Espanol (BPE) as part of a pilot program between the two banks to test the transmission of US dollar check images and data in a modified x9.37 file format via the SWIFNet FileAct messaging service.

"We are excited to be among the first to pilot a solution that has value for the entire SWIFT community. Since Internet connections can be subject to disruptions, many SWIFT member banks would prefer to use the current messaging infrastructure when transmitting cash letter images. Our successful receipt of a check image via SWIFTNet FileAct confirms the flexibility of the SWIFT network, and opens up an opportunity for correspondents to clear dollar payments more efficiently," said George Doolittle, Managing Director and Head of Wachovia GFI Payment Services.

SWIFT, Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, is the financial industry-owned co-operative supplying secure, standardized messaging services and interface software to 7,800 financial institutions in more than 200 countries. SWIFTNet FileAct is the messaging service that allows for the transmission of batches of structured financial messages and documents over SWIFT's network. The successful pilot between Wachovia and BPE confirms that correspondent banks can create and transmit files of US dollar payments, drawn on US banks, directly to Wachovia through SWIFTNet FileAct.

"SWIFT is pleased that Wachovia has taken a leadership position with us on implementing SWIFTNet FileAct for Check 21," said Ed Adams, SWIFT Regional Director for the Americas. "SWIFTNet FileAct provides state-of-the-art security, reliability and support for the image formats being sent to Wachovia over SWIFTNet."

Using infrastructure within its check processing operations, BPE elected to create and transmit files directly to Wachovia in a predefined format.

"We have a long-standing partnership with Wachovia, in many areas, in a mutually rewarding way," said Rafael Duarte, Director and Global Head of International Financial Institutions at BPE. "Choosing to work closely with Wachovia on this project made sense for us, and with this successful transmission, we now have another option for transmitting payments to Wachovia that utilizes the SWIFT network, our preferred method for transmission."

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