Clearinghouse Aligns with Fed on Settlement

COLUMBUS, Ohio - National Clearinghouse Association, a private-sector alternative to the Federal Reserve's check clearing services, has changed its settlement procedures to reflect changes developed by the Federal Reserve.The enhanced Fed system, applicable to any multilateral netting scheme, was unveiled in March and replaces one that relied on the Fed Wire for settlement.

National Clearinghouse participants transmit payment entries to an account at the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank. The Fed then posts these entries to the appropriate reserve accounts of each member.

Under the old rules, all participants with net debit positions had to send Fed wires to National Clearinghouse before banks with net credit positions could get their funds.

"It will improve the overall quality, efficiency, and timeliness of settlement," said Ron Ciechanowski, president of National Clearinghouse and a vice president at Chase Manhattan Corp.


Chase Exec on Board of E-Commerce Unit

CUPERTINO, Calif. - Adam Backenroth, vice president of Chase Manhattan Bank, has been elected to the board of CommerceNet, a Cupertino coalition of more than 600 organizations promoting electronic commerce and related standardization efforts worldwide.Mr. Backenroth is also president of the Financial Services Technology Consortium, a group led by several of the largest U.S. banks. The consortium, a CommerceNet member, recently turned over to that group management of its e-check project, an effort to create a check-like payment system on the Internet.

The Chase officer is one of six new directors of CommerceNet. The others are Michael Donahue, chairman of Interworld; Carla Hendra, president of Ogilvy One; Mark Rhoney, president of e-ventures at United Parcel Service; Karl Salnoske, vice president of electronic commerce, International Business Machines Corp.; and Narry Singh, partner, McKenna Group.

Another banker on the board is Debra Rossi, executive vice president of electronic payment services at Wells Fargo Bank. The chairman is Jay M. Tenenbaum, formerly of Verifone Inc. and now chief scientist of the electronic commerce software company CommerceOne.


Big Software Purchase by Scandinavian Giant

SAN JOSE, Calif. - BEA Systems Inc. announced a major sale of electronic banking software to the Scandinavian banking giant Merita Nordbanken.The bank is to use BEA programs starting early in 2000 for electronic payments, stock trading, and access to services from mobile phones by way of the Wireless Application Protocol.

Rune Isaksson, chief architect at the Merita Nordbanken Data unit, said BEA's "flexibility and scalability" were crucial not only to take advantage of fast-moving Internet opportunities but also to manage the merger of the former Merita Bank in Finland with Nordbanken of Sweden.

"We can quickly integrate Internet and back-office applications," which is "critical to the success of our merger," Mr. Isaksson said.

BEA's middleware approach lets new applications be integrated with IBM and Tandem mainframe-based systems "and thereby leverage our investment in legacy systems," he said.


Norwegian Company Picks Entrust Technology

PLANO, Tex. - Entrust Technologies Inc. said it is supplying public key infrastructure technology to the Norwegian telecommunications company Telenor.The Entrust/PKI software is at the heart of a digital certificate system serving the government and private sectors. Telenor is the fourth "trusted third party" to adopt Entrust/PKI, after Royal Mail in the United Kingdom, the Interpay banking association in the Netherlands, and the Ceres certificate authority in Spain.

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