American Development Inc. has introduced a PC-based version of AutoDraft, a automated clearing house software package that runs with Windows or with DOS alone.

The Cookville, Tenn.-based firm has offered a mainframe version of the software for six years.

AutoDraft offers the full range of ACH origination services, including payroll, cash concentrations, disbursements, accounts payable, and receivables. The product comes with a built-in passwords and access codes to provide data security.

The software automatically creates prenotes, the notifications that banks are required to send to the Federal Reserve, and maintains a central data base of automated clearing house records that allows users to set the frequency of when they want to originate.

For institutions that may be new to automated clearing house originations, the vendor also offers a toll-free number for 24-hour technical support and marketing assistance to help banks get the most leverage from the product.

Farmers and Merchants Bank, in Granite Quarry, N.C., has been used the PC-based version of AutoDraft for eight months, said Darlene Treece, vice president of operations for the $141 million-asset bank, which had previously used a host-based version of AutoDraft.

She said that the bank handles Christmans Club drafts and loan payments to other banks through AutoDraft. They also use for processing their Visa merchant monthly discount fees.

In addition, Farmers and Merchants markets the product to their customers. A local spa, for example, uses it to draft monthly dues out of its members accounts and then forward the dues to the spa's account. Other customers use it for payroll direct deposit. These customers put their payroll on a disk and the bank makes the deductions and the payments.

Ms. Treece said that the system has also helped the bank eliminate several manual processes traditionally involved in the automated clearing house payment functions.

"Once the data about a customer is keyed into the system, it stays there," she said. "When we work with that customer, we simply change the dollar amount of the transaction instead of typing up an entirely new record."

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