Fleet Financial Group Inc. and Harris Bankcorp are transforming their corporate lockbox services using a combination of home-grown software and third-party imaging systems.
Most recently, both institutions agreed to install an image-based software package that gives wholesale lockbox clients remote, same-day access to their accounts.
The new software, called RemitVision REP, was developed by IA Corp. of Emeryville, Calif.
IA modeled RemitVision REP after software being developed in-house by executives at Shawmut Bank, which merged with Fleet in 1995. Fleet has already made the system available to wholesale clients.
RemitVision REP, which is used in conjunction with the banks' lockbox image systems, lets clients dial in or go on-line to retrieve images of checks handled that day on their behalf by the bank.
Clients also have access to data relevant to the day's lockbox deposits, including batch numbers, dollar amounts, and exceptions.
Executives at Fleet hope to use the imaging software to attract more corporate wholesale and retail remittance business. The bank processes 800,000 items a month for 47 lockboxes.
"Before, we had to rely on mail delivery, so our business could only be regional. Now, we can compensate for that by providing remote access for the images," said Marion James, vice president and manager of treasury consulting at the bank.
Harris, a Chicago-based subsidiary of Bank of Montreal, has used RemitVision REP in a pilot involving six wholesale lockbox clients for the last few months.
The bank plans to roll out the product, accessible by CD-ROM or dial-in, to all of its 1,500 wholesale lockboxes by early next year, said Christine Bickler, product manager.
"We were looking at a way to enhance services from the customer's perspective," said Ms. Bickler, who would not comment on the bank's monthly item processing volumes.
"This revolutionizes the way remittance data is made available to them."
Fleet, which runs lockbox centers in Hartford, Conn.; Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, plans to roll out a similar remote-access imaging product for retail lockbox customers next year, said Ms. James.
Harris, with processing centers in Chicago and Toronto, will also add the product to its retail business, said Ms. Bickler.