A year after forming a check processing business known as Transys, CoreStates Financial Corp. is moving to add to the unit's scale.
CoreStates last week moved all its correspondent check business to Transys, bringing the number of checks processed dally to five million.
The umt now handles check processing for three institutions a money center, a community bank, and CoreStates.
But the Philadelphia, Pa.-based banking company has begun stepping up its efforts to attract more clients to its third-party processing services this month.
The most important sign of this increased emphasis on marketing is Transys' move to convince one of its most seasoned executives to postpone retirement plans to take on a consulting position.
Robert B. Palmer, now the chairman at CoreStates First Pennsylvama Bank and an active contributor to the bank's transaction processing enterprise, will take up a short-term position at the umt in January.
He will report directly to Robert Gilmore, Transys' chief executive and the chief technology officer for the CoreStates holding company.
Mr. Gilmore said he views this as a natural and calculated progression for the check processing umt.
"Transys is right on schedule," Mr. Gilmore said. "All the work we thought we'd do, we've done, and we're going into 1995 with an aggressive marketing and sales campaign."
Mr. Palmer, who says he has held every position at CoreStates except chief executive of the holding company, said he expects his experience will enable him to convince executives at other bank's of the usefulness of outsourcing the check processing function.
By demonstrating that his background mirrors that of many orthodox bankers, Mr. Palmet hopes to convert those opposed in principle to outsourcing.
His sales pitch to these bankers is sure to include the fact that check processing is a volume-intensive business that, with the advent of image technology, is becoming increasingly specialized. Though many bankers feel check processing is an important part of their business, an increasing number are finding reasons to farm the activity out to large scale third parties.
"Many customers feel like it [their check business] is an organ of their body and they would not easily outsource if Mr. Palmer said. "Some think, 'you're suggesting I take my lungs out of my body.'"
As the business grows and matures, Mr. Palmer said Transys will be able to accommodate a variety of service options. A money center or large regional can 'outsource specific lines of business, while a smaller institution can hand over its entire check processing function.
Mr. Palmer foresees the check processing realm evolving into an "oligarchy" of large players a group in which he hopes Transys will take a leadership role. CoreStates is already considered a leader in other areas of transaction processing. The banking company became an early entrant into the automated teller network business, founding the MAC network in 1979.
More recently, CoreStates formed a credit card payments processing business called Synapsys. This company was formed about the same time it spun off its check operations into Transys last year.