Arkansas Systems has introduced a version of its lockbox-processing system for community banks.

The Little Rock, Ark.-based software company specializes in development of payment and financial transaction delivery systems for banks and other companies using International Business Machines Corp. computers.

The new lockbox software, called Flexi-Remittance, runs on IBM AS/400 midrange systems with an IBM check reader-sorter. It also can be used with the NCR 7780 reader sorter.

Saw an Opportunity

The new product is designed to serve banks that already process their daily check work using these pieces of equipment. By adding a device to read remittance documents, this same check-processing equipment can run lockbox services.

"We saw an opportunity for smaller banks to leverage their existing investment in technology and better compete with larger banks for lockbox customers," said Hurston Anderson, an executive at Arkansas Systems.

He added that this new version of Flexi-Remittance is designed to process from 10,000 to 20,000 payments a day.

Earlier Version in Use

Mr. Anderson also explained that the new lockbox system is a stripped-down version of a more powerful product that Arkansas Systems has sold mostly to retailers and utilities companies, organizations that typically process tens of thousands of payments each day.

Two banking companies also use the earlier version of the product: Hibernia National Bank, a $4.6 billion institution in New Orleans, and M & I Data Services, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

According to Lee Nicosia, a vice president at Hibernia, one of the chief benefits of a lockbox system that uses check reader-sorters is speed.

Hibernia uses the new IBM 3892 reader sorter and he said the the check processing department can typically process 1200 lockbox remittances a minute using Flexi-Remittance.

By using this lockbox system, a bank is able to eliminate the need for multiple relationships, Mr. Anderson said.

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