Sterling National Bank deploys Fidelity cheque-imaging product

Source: Fidelity Information Services

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 announced today that its ImageCentre Voyager check imaging solution has enabled Sterling National Bank (NYSE: STL) to send and receive images to and from the Federal Reserve Banks.

Sterling National Bank (Sterling), a New York-based financial holding company with assets of over $2 billion, began using the Federal Reserve's FedForward service in June 2005, which allowed it to begin transmitting image cash letters electronically. In September 2005, Sterling became the first in New York City and among the first in the United States to begin using FedReceipt Plus, a Federal Reserve service that gives banks the ability to receive their inclearings electronically. Sterling was an early adopter of FedReceipt Plus because both the bank and Fidelity were able to demonstrate that they were ready, willing and able to accept a file in the FedReceipt Plus format.

"After we began transmitting our cash letters to the Federal Reserve as images, we knew we wanted to move on to the next step," said Eliot S. Robinson, executive vice president for Sterling National Bank. "Fidelity quickly took us through the process of preparing for the receipt of electronic inclearings, and when the Federal Reserve indicated they were seeking early adopters, we were ready to go. We expect operational efficiencies that will result in measurable cost savings, and we will also be positioned to detect fraud more quickly and accurately."

The ImageCentre suite provides financial institutions with a completely browser-based payment processing, document management and fraud detection solution. ImageCentre Voyager enables client financial institutions to exchange check images with image exchange networks, correspondent banks and other financial institutions.

Voyager provides tremendous operational efficiencies, including reduced sorter labor costs, maintenance and supplies. Transmitting outgoing image cash letters eliminates capture passes, outgoing item encoding and courier fees. Receiving image cash letters eliminates a daily capture pass and the associated correction and balancing process. And generating electronic returns streamlines the exception handling process by eliminating the need to pull, strip, encode and stamp return reasons while simultaneously reducing adjustment research.

"In addition to operational efficiencies and resulting cost savings, Sterling will also benefit from improved funds availability as nearly 100% of their transit items can be settled the same or the next day," said Anthony Jabbour, executive vice president for Fidelity. "As interest rates rise, improving funds availability for investment is becoming a more important component of the business case for image exchange."

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