Fiserv acquires Xcipio; opens Vermont processing centre

Source: Fiserv

Fiserv, Inc. (Nasdaq:FISV) has acquired Xcipio, Inc., a Web-based insurance rating and automation solution provider, as part of its plan to expand its technological footprint in the insurance industry.

The acquisition will allow Fiserv to provide Web-based comparative insurance rates directly from insurance carriers to producers in real time. Details of the transaction, which closed November 1, were not disclosed.

Terry Wade, president of the Fiserv Insurance Group, said the acquisition is a continuation of Fiserv's dedication to look for new ways to expand its presence in the insurance industry. "Fiserv will continue to build and acquire the necessary technologies to provide the best rating and submission experience to insurance professionals nationwide," Wade said.

Xcipio Inc., located in East Windsor, Conn., provides Web-based, real-time rating and automation solutions to insurance agents, brokers and carriers in Connecticut. Xcipio will operate as a division of FSC Insurance Solutions, a Fiserv business unit that holds a leading position in the insurance rating business in California, Arizona and seven Midwestern states.

Robert Meyerson, CEO of FSC Insurance Solutions, said the acquisition is a significant component to FSC's overall business development strategy. "The addition of Xcipio is particularly effective when combined with FSC Insurance Solutions' current technology and product portfolio. Technological synergies between our companies will allow us to create new and innovative rating products built on a hybrid of manufactured and real time rates. In turn, we are able to distribute complete and highly accurate rating solutions at a lower operating cost and with an accelerated time to market," Meyerson said.

"By combining the passion, creativity and technology of two leading-edge companies, we will continue to drive innovations that help insurance professionals, especially in the area of rating and submission tools," said David Cooksley, president and CEO of Xcipio. "Together, we will meet a wider set of customer needs and have a significantly greater opportunity to enter into new and emerging markets."

Separately, Fiserv, Inc. (Nasdaq:FISV) will officially open its newest item processing center in response to the specified need for improved technology for anchor client Merchants Bank, based in Burlington, Vt.

The new facility, based in the Burlington suburb of Williston, Vt., will enable Fiserv to provide increased item processing services to other area financial institutions.

"We began processing work for Merchants Bank on October 27, but our official launch day is November 2," said Linda Sheehan, vice president of item processing for Fiserv's Eastern Region. The new center currently occupies 7,500 square feet. Functionality, size and staffing will grow as the center attracts other clients, she said.

The new Fiserv operation provides item and image capture capabilities to Merchants Bank, which has assets of $1.05 billion. The bank's core processing services are provided by Fiserv CBS, while Fiserv business unit Imagesoft provides document and check imaging and cold storage services. Merchants Bank's usage of Fiserv's integrated services rounds out to include Personix, manufacturer of the bank's plastic credit and debit cards, and Fiserv EFT, which drives the institution's ATMs and provides credit and debit processing.

"We've been with Fiserv CBS for 15 years, and we're very pleased with our relationship," said Tom Havers, senior vice president and senior operations officer for Merchants Bank. Successful experiences outsourcing various functions to other Fiserv units led the bank to contract with Fiserv for image processing as well, he added.

"We were looking for a professional partner to help reduce costs and take greater advantage of the benefits of Check 21 legislation," said Havers. "In the long term, this was the best strategic decision and a way to grow our customer base while better managing expenses."

The new Fiserv facility is fully automated and uses the CAR-LAR system capable of automatically reading the physical handwriting on the majority of checks the center processes. The system helps speed processing while reducing costs to the customer, said Sheehan. The new system's capabilities also should attract additional business in the region, she said.

"Many banks in this area have logistics problems when it comes to processing that should make this service attractive," said Sheehan. Geography, including mountain ranges, and distance from the Federal Reserve Bank offices, make item clearing on a timely basis challenging. Fiserv's image capture technology can provide improved services for financial institutions throughout the area, she said.

"Other banks are already inquiring about our services," said Sheehan.

Merchants Bank originally approached Fiserv about establishing a regionalized center, Sheehan said. Fiserv hired all of the bank's back-office staff to help operate the center, a move viewed favorably by Merchants Bank.

"That was a key factor in our decision to switch our operations to Fiserv," said Havers.

Separately, Fiserv CBS Worldwide today announced that it has successfully gone live with ICBS (International Comprehensive Banking System) core banking solution, CBS Teller and CBS Customer Relationship Servicing (CRS) at CL Permanent Building and Loan Society in Trinidad in less than four months. CL Permanent is a subsidiary of CL Financial, which boasts other subsidiaries such as CLICO (Colonial Life Insurance Company), one of the largest insurance services organisations in the Caribbean with 2000 agents and staff in 23 territories.

CBS will now enable the bank to develop and deliver a full range of retail financial products and services and facilitate efficient, reliable processing of savings accounts, loans, mortgages, management reporting and business intelligence.

Said Ornell Bedasse, Managing Director, CL Permanent, "We selected Fiserv CBS Worldwide to help us achieve our short and long-term goals because of its strong presence in the Caribbean and experience implementing core banking systems in building societies in the region. Equally important was Fiserv's financial stability and portfolio of reliable software solutions designed to run on the iSeries, CLICO’s installed platform, ensuring high performance and compatibility with head office."

According to Dan Alf, Managing Director of Fiserv CBS Worldwide's Latin America, Canada and Caribbean (LACC) business unit, "We are delighted that CL Permanent has implemented Fiserv CBS Worldwide's solutions to help increase market share in the Caribbean and deliver quality, reliable service to its customers."

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