Provident and James Monroe Bank sign for Fidelity lockbox services

Source: Fidelity National Financial

Fidelity National Financial, Inc. (NYSE: FNF), a Fortune 500 provider of products and outsourced services and solutions to financial institutions and the real estate industry, and its Fidelity Information Services (Fidelity) division today announced that two of its image item processing clients will begin taking advantage of Fidelity's growing image-enabled remittance processing services.

Baltimore, MD-based Provident Bank and Arlington, VA-based James Monroe Bank both went live during the third quarter, 2005.

In addition to serving their retail communities, both banks have commercial clients that receive monthly payments from their customers. With Fidelity's remittance processing (or lockbox) services, the banks can outsource the processing of those payments to one of Fidelity's image-enabled centers where envelopes are opened and checks and related enclosures are sorted, scanned, imaged, entered and deposited.

"For several years, we had been offering remittance processing, but not in an efficient manner," said Bill Howland, vice president and cash management product manager for Provident Bank. "We were using multiple processors in our attempt to find the sophistication we needed in terms of technology. It was unmanageable."

In addition to the practical reasons for streamlining and consolidating the function, the bank needed an image-based lockbox to meet the needs of its asset-based loan customers and to effectively compete against larger banks in their markets. Not only does Fidelity offer the full range of image-based remittance processing capabilities, the bank reaps another benefit as a result of the fact that Fidelity's Sterling, Virginia center was already handling their item processing needs. Deposits now go right into Provident Bank's DDA system, without the need to deal with deposit tickets or hand off deposits to another party.

"The work is also more accurate now because the posting data and images are captured during lockbox processing, and the items are not re-handled," said Howland. "In addition, the sale of lockbox services is up because Fidelity has helped us simplify operations to the point that our sales force can easily understand it and articulate the benefits. Finally, we are now in a position to make inroads into some market niches with a lot of potential for us; for example, the property managers in our market area. As our bank grows and we approach prospects outside our area, we anticipate being able to leverage the services of other Fidelity centers. I can honestly say that everything we had hoped for is already happening."

For James Monroe Bank, one of their very substantial customers was looking for a solution to improve on the quality of their lockbox services. In particular, they were seeking the ability to capture images of not only the checks that were processed but related documents as well, and they wanted to make those images available to their staff.

"Fidelity approached us about the time we were looking for a new solution for our clients," said Dick Linhart, the bank's chief operating officer. "Our Fidelity representatives described the new equipment being installed in Sterling where our item processing is currently being handled. We were excited because Fidelity would now have a bigger, more advanced operation than our current processor had, and we already had a long, trusted relationship with Fidelity. Also, the browser-based document imaging system is the same one we use to store our images, so we will be able to view all the images any time - and so will our customers."

Fidelity's end-to-end solution integrates seamlessly with both banks' core processing solutions, enabling timely processing of transactions, smooth operations for the institutions and better service for bank customers. On the retail side, the company can quickly process huge volumes of mail. In addition, Fidelity can manage wholesale payments, including non-scannable forms and enclosures, as well as property management and "wholetail," a combination of wholesale and retail.

"Remittance processing services were once feasible only for the super banks," said Randy Fluitt, executive vice president for Fidelity's Integrated Financial Solutions division. "But recent technological advances have made it feasible for most any institution that wishes to take advantage of the opportunity to generate significant revenues and cement relationships with the businesses they serve. The flawless service experienced by these two clients can only be achieved by a company with decades of experience in this specialty, the latest image-based technologies and the in-house technical knowledge to ensure consistent performance - all of which Fidelity delivers today."

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