Marking a new milestone on the way to totally automated electronic banking, Chase Manhattan Corp. introduced an advanced global treasury management system that it claims is unlike any other.
The multiple-function workstation, known as Chase Insight, will enable corporate treasurers to handle and combine a variety of transactions that, until now, had to be performed separately. It will also automate a large number of steps, such as bookkeeping procedures, which were previously performed manually.
For example, a corporate treasurer who needs to send out a payment in any one of 68 different currencies will be able to convert dollars to another currency, and by calling up another window on the screen, immediately transmit the payment anywhere in the world.
This component, called Chase Trader, gives customers direct access to the world's most liquid currency markets through the bank's wholesale foreign exchange trading desks in New York, London, and Tokyo, Chase said.
Among the other functions offered by the Insight system are trade finance, foreign exchange, payments, treasury management, and general ledger. Corporate treasurers will also be able to use the system to access price quotes from other banks.
Deborah Talbot, executive vice president in charge of Chase's global payment and treasury services group, said Insight took nearly four years to develop and cost several millions of dollars.
"This will eliminate many paper-based services and bring a lot of different products onto a single platform, " Ms. Talbot said.
Banks have been racing to build electronic systems to handle retail and wholesale banking transactions in the hope that it will keep them one step ahead of software companies which are targeting the same market.
Ms. Talbot said one of the big advantages of the system is that it has a modular platform, to which other functions, or more advanced electronic capabilities, can be added as they are developed.
She also said that the multiple function workstation, with its enhanced capabilities, will give corporate treasurers "access to the financial tools we enjoy on a daily basis " in areas such as risk management.
Chase executives said they hope to install several thousand work stations worldwide over the next few years, but that the speed with which they are adopted will depend on how quickly the new technology is accepted.