added Windows capabilities to several parts of its popular Interplex treasury software. The non-Windows version of Interplex, a cash management information system for large corporations, ranked first in Ernst & Young's annual cash management survey for several years running. About 450 corporate customers use the system worldwide. "Our Windows program goes far beyond simply adding a graphical user interface to existing DOS applications," said Jean Dugan, chief technology officer at Geoserve. "This is a major effort that will provide Geoserve with tremendous competitive advantage going forward." The Windows operating system has been added to several Interplex cash management components, including same-day and prior-day balance and transaction information reporting; the cash position worksheet module, which is used to project cash flows in and out of corporate accounts; and the money transfer capability. Chemical will add Windows to the system's other components next year. In addition to the Windows upgrade, Geoserve has launched a check service using image technology and CD-ROMs. This service - available to corporate customers of the bank's Delaware office, which is one of Chemical's three control disbursement sites - lets customers store images of checks instead of the actual paper checks. The CD-ROMS, which store 20,000 items each, let companies quickly retrieve check images for account reconciliation operations, and to resolve payment disputes. "Check imaging is clearly the most significant technology for checks since the MICR line was created 30 years ago," said Dick Nolan, president and chief executive of Chemical Bank Delaware. "We are leveraging this technology to significantly improve how companies manage their business." As Chemical forges ahead with new or enhanced cash management services, so too is Chase Manhattan Corp., with which Chemical plans to merge. Chase's new product developers have been quite busy in recent months bringing new cash management services to the market. Experts said the recent announcements from the two banks raise the question of what would become of the services after the merger. One competitor, who asked to remain anonymous, noted "a competing, or seemingly overlapping concept," between Chemical and Chase in new cash management product developments. "I find it very unusual that both continue to release information without any real clear synchronization." But the banker also noted that since the "legal merger" has yet to occur, both must continue functioning as two separate entities. Lawrence Forman, a market research manager with Ernst & Young, said as formal approval of the merger draws nearer, one bank's services may be phased out in favor of the other's, or perhaps one bank's services may not get additional development funding. But he added there is room "for multiple products" because "there might be some uniqueness to a system, so they might redesign them to fit different niches." Lisa Selkin-Lupo, a spokesperson with Chemical, said the new Chase has vowed not to change the way corporations use the banking systems for treasury services until August 1997. "While we are piecing the back offices together with what we are going to use, we will not disrupt how they access us," Ms. Selkin-Lupo said. In related news, a bank memo tapped Deborah L. Talbot, a senior vice president with Chase, to head the merged bank's global payments and treasury management services, with Yawar Shah, a senior vice president with Chemical, serving as deputy. In addition, Vivian L. Eversole, a senior vice president with Chase, will head the global securities services, and D'Arcy H. LeClair, a senior vice president with Chemical, will head the institutional trust and domestic bank services. Ms. Eversole, Mr. LeClair, and Ms. Talbot will report to Richard Matteis, who is group executive and head of Geoserve. Mr. Matteis has been selected to be the head of information and transaction services.
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