Chase Manhattan Bank has launched a PC-based global on-line disbursement system that, that in what Chase says is a first, can issue, print, and reconcile customized checks in any currency.

The system, called Chase Gold, enables customers to issue Chase U.S.-dollar official checks, which function like certified checks, and U.S. and foreign currency checks from offices anywhere in the world.

Chase officials said the system reduces the costs and time associated with issuing checks and virtually eliminates the risk of check forgeries.

"Chase Gold is the latest of a series of products we have introduced to help our clients reduce costs and streamline operations," said Deborah Talbot, senior vice president and head of the Global Payment and Treasury Services unit at Chase Manhattan Bank, a subsidiary of the $114.5 billion-asset Chase Manhattan Corp.

The system is being piloted at institutions in Europe, Asia. South America, and the United States, said Terri Cahill. global check product management executive in the bank's global payment treasury services unit. Ms. Cahill declined to name the companies, but did say that one major application is running in New Jersey and several others are scheduled to be on-line in the United States in the coming months.

Chase Gold is targeted at corporations, broker-dealers, U.S. and foreign banks, and mortgage bankers. It is targeted to any company with unique check printing requirements that need to effectively manage check disbursement, said Mrs. Cahill.

Mortgage bankers, for example, can print official checks at the time of closing, and manage last-minute changes right from their offices.

The system is also Well suited for multinational companies that want to maintain their own currency accounts, said Ms. Cahill. Customers can use accounts anywhere in the world and centralize the information. As checks are issued in different locations, the information is fed back to a central PC that monitors disbursements, a tool that can help companies anticipate funding requirements.

Another Gold application allows companies or banks in Europe or Asia to transmit disbursement information to Chase, and the bank then prints checks in U.S. currency and delivers them to ultimate recipients. All of the applications are performed on a DOS-compatible PC a single workstation or networked computer -- running Chase's Gold application software, with a modem and laser printer.

Customers can choose to fund Gold activity immediately with a pre-arranged debit to their main Chase account, or to cover checks as they clear.

By automating the disbursement process, the system cuts the number of steps needed and the time it typically takes to issue checks, said Ms. Cahill.

In a retail branch application, with no automation, Chase has found that the average time to issue a check is from 30 minutes to an hour, she said, whereas, using Gold. it takes several minutes.

"In a retail environment, this can make a difference for customers waiting for checks." she said.

The system has a comprehensive range of security controls. including user restrictions and data authentication. Users must enter identification codes and passwords to gain access to the system and must insert an authentication diskette, supplied by Chase, before checks will print.

The diskette ensures that checks are coming from an authorized source and enables Chase to detect whether files have been tampered with.

To prevent check fraud, the system uses the MatchPay detection feature. As checks are issued, Chase receives a file containing the check numbers, dollar amounts, and account numbers. This file is electronically matched against all checks presented for payment.

MatchPay allows Chase to return counterfeit items quickly enough so that the bank of deposit can recover funds before making them available, said Ms. Cahill.

Chase .provides licensing agreements to customers for Gold software, check stock, and printer fonts. Customers are also charged for transactions.

Technical service representatives and training is provided, as well as ongoing support in the form of system maintenance and upgrades.

Gold is part of Chase's treasury workstation platform, which includes other applications recently introduced to streamline the payment process.

In June, the bank launched the Chase Purchasing Card, which officials say cuts the time and resources spent on the purchasing process.

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