Goldleaf Technologies Inc. and Fitech Inc. have added to their line of automated clearing house and cash management products designed for community banks.

The latest product developed by Goldleaf, called CustomerLink PC Access, is a PC-based cash management system for small-business and home banking use.

The community banking market is familiar turf for Goldleaf. The Hahira, Ga., company is itself a subsidiary of a community bank, Commercial Banking Co., a $26.1 million-asset institution.

Currently, Goldleaf has about 1,200 product installations of its Goldpac products, which provide ACH origination and receiving, cash management, electronic cash letter creation, PC management, and return item processing.

"What we're offering are full-featured cash management products at an affordable price," said Bob Chamberlain, president of Fitech, based in the Orlando suburb of Heathrow, Fla.

In addition to marketing Goldleaf's products, Fitech also advises community banks on technology issues and merger strategy.

"Here in Florida, banks like Barnett and SunTrust offer these types of services," said Mr. Chamberlain. "We're telling smaller banks that they can be competitive in the marketplace."

The initial licensing fee for CustomerLink PC Access software, or PCA, is about $15,000, Mr. Chamberlain said. A turnkey package, including PC hardware, and training, is available for about $20,000. Mr. Chamberlain estimated that similar systems are priced at $30,000 to $50,000.

Banks run PCA, as well as other Goldleaf ACH products, using a personal computer that has remote access to the bank's host computer system.

Security Precautions Taken

The physical separation of the two systems, as well as the communications protocols used by the Goldleaf system, provide the security levels banks require, according to Mr. Chamberlain.

Customers of the bank can then access the system using their own version of the software.

Typical uses for PCA include account information retrieval, initiating transactions such as funds transfer or wire transfer, and electronic mail.

The electronic mail and bulletin board function separate PCA from other PC-based ACH products, according to Mr. Chamberlain.

"Customers can do things like leave messages for officers to increase a credit line or to make other changes," Mr. Chamberlain said.

A broadcast feature also allows the bank to disseminate product and other information to the user base with a single message, Mr. Chamberlain added.

The customer base for Goldleaf products is currently community banks in the areas of Florida and southern Georgia. With the introduction of the new products, the companies plan to expand to more national distribution.

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