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This bank has always been a forward looking company. Among the earliest adopters of new technologies, the Fortune 500 firm delivers products to individuals and companies throughout the U.S. and, for certain lines of business, internationally, through a variety of channels, including branch offices, the World Wide Web, telephone banking centers, and a network of ATMs.

Like all banks and financial companies, the bank is always on the lookout for new opportunities to keep ahead of its competition.The company recently found a strategic advantage within its own payment processing centers: RemitTrac®, from ImageScan. Since 1996, the bank has relied on RemitTrac® as a wholesale transaction-processing solution at two of its regional processing centers. When the company decided to upgrade from its original platform to new software, its executives realized they had an opportunity not only to install new technology, but to create new services as well that better leveraged their RemitTrac® investment – and better served their organization’s evolving needs.. “Knowing the demands in the market place, and what we needed to meet the expectations of our customers, we recognized that with RemitTrac® we could continue to be a key player, providing advanced solutions for our business customers,” says the lockbox product manager.

An Upgrade with Attitude

When the bank decided to upgrade the systems at the bank’s four processing sites, its managers faced challenges common to financial IT professionals. First, they had to identify systems that would improve their current operating needs even as they delivered an immediate, tangible payoff in productivity and product quality. Simultaneously, they had to ensure their investment would hold up over the long term: the bank had to incorporate new technologies as they were developed and address customer expectations as they evolved. “If you go down the wrong path,” notes the manager, “you don’t only suffer now — you’ll suffer later, too.”

“We were an early user of RemitTrac® for some of our remittance customers in our satellite sites, and the functionality of the product impressed us,” says the senior vice president of cash management operations. Indeed, RemitTrac®’s performance over the years made the decision to expand its use into all four of the banks processing centers including the head office where it replaced the bank's separate wholesale lockbox and remittance applications. Taking advantage of the added efficiency offered by RemitTrac®’s system- wide use was a prudent step. Accuracy and efficiency is particularly important for banks today, as they confront an electronic age in which the competition for corporate customers is intense. When it handles greater volumes of transactions in less time and with less of the expensive equipment and labor resources needed to reconcile statements, checks and other paperwork, a bank’s product offerings become more competitive and profitable. “For the first time, we could take advantage of a uniform, proven technology across all of our lockbox operations,” says their SVP.

An Expansion Of Business

But the bank's decision involved more than technology. The bank wanted to expand its processing operations in a way that would allow it to be not only more efficient, but more profitable as well.
As the bank's product management staff reviewed RemitTrac®’s features, they recognized a market opportunity in its wholetail solution. “We knew there was a need for exception processing — retail transactions that require wholesale processing capabilities in order to be reconciled,” says the manager. “When we saw what RemitTrac® could do, we knew we could mesh its capabilities with our expertise and offer a service that was needed in the processing arena.” Not only that, but RemitTrac®’s capabilities allowed the bank to expand its product line to offer more imaging and delivery options. “ImageScan is one of the few vendors that can demonstrate an effective interface to a variety of archive product and Web vendors,” says the manager. ImageScan also was able to address another crucial requirement; Using RemitTrac®’s proven Float Module, the bank was able to expand its float management activities and enhance reporting to payment processing sites.

A Common Platform’s Common Sense

ImageScan had to deliver on the bank's aggressive timeline, upgrade all four sites, and convert their critical reporting connections to the bank’s various internal systems, all at the same time. The multiple installation process yielded another benefit: the bank can now use its processing sites for disaster recovery for one another to minimize downtime. “RemitTrac® comes equipped with the capability to designate one system as a ‘test’ or ‘disaster’ site, at our option,” says the SVP. “By re-designating the server, we can be back in business. With this redundancy in place we are able to reduce our reliance on outside disaster recovery vendors.” The bottom line: With RemitTrac®, the bank was able to increase its product line, enhance productivity, and reduce its reliance on outside vendors.