DALLAS -- Fleet Financial Group has formed strategic alliances with several vendors to bolster its cash management business.

Fleet also announced Fleet Track, a deposit reconciliation service that allows corporate customers with multiple depositing locations to track all transactions through a single account.

The related announcements were made at the annual Treasury Management Association convention here last week.

"Strategic partnerships provide us with a cost-efficient solution to bringing the services to customers without spending and maintaining in-house development projects," said Michael J. Curran, senior vice president in charge of corporate cash management for the New England-based bank.

Fleet's operating services division has set up alliances with International Business Machines Corp., Sterling Software Inc., and ADP/Advantage Systems to develop and install cash management technologies.

Fleet has selected Sterling to develop an electronic data-interchange system giving corporate customers the option of automating their accounts payable.

The system will allow Fleet to offer a complete range of financial EDI capabilities meeting all industry standards.

"The big market for EDI is driving the little market as the function reaches a critical mass," said Mr. Curran. "As the big guys drive suppliers toward electronic payments, someone has to be able to work with the smaller vendors and we will be able to meet those needs."

The partnership with IBM is designed to deliver image technology to commercial customers for services including controlled disbursement and account reconciliation.

The first imaging-related product will be introduced by the bank before the end of the year, said Mr. Curran. It will be geared toward high-volume paper disbursement for both exception items and research for account reconciliation.

Fleet's deal with ADP/Advantage will allow the banking company to expand its Treasury Express balance-reporting system and provide access to the bank for cash-management services.

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