Mellon Bank Corp., one of the industry's major cash management players, has unveiled a Windows-based version of its main cash management reporting product.
The product, called Telecash Viewpoint, will allow corporate customers to access account information and to execute multicurrency transactions over payment systems such as Fed Wire and the automated clearing house.
Mellon's information and reporting product follows a number of similar systems from other top cash management banks. Observers believe that Mellon developed the system specifically as a response to FirstWindow 2000, which First Chicago Corp. launched in 1993.
"What we've tried to do is make it as easy as possible (for customers)," said David P. Taddeo, first vice president with the $39 billion-asset Pittsburgh bank.
"All the information that a customer would need to complete a transaction is available,"
Telecash, which will be tested next month, is an upgrade to Mellon's basic cash management product. The enhancements are designed to give customers an easier-to-use interface with the bank's main system.
The software already contains applications for wire transfers, automated clearing house transactions, prior day and current day reporting, lockbox, concentration of funds, and check processing.
In creating the new software, Mellon's systems staff organized into graphical user interface teams that will continue to enhance the new software once customers begin using it.
The need for Mellon to have a Windows-based product arose two years ago when First Chicago rolled out its system to good reviews from existing customers.
Since then, the service at First Chicago has paid its own development costs by helping the bank to expand its corporate customer base and "allowing the existing customer base to execute more ACH and foreign exchange transactions from the same product," according to Nancy Lacey, a division manager with First Chicago.
Increases in wire transaction volume initiated by corporate customers translate into more cash management income, Ms. Lacey noted.
Banks that offer a user-friendly cash management service can boost wire transfer volumes "because it encourages a customer to concentrate as much volume as possible with one bank," said Larry Forman, an analyst with Ernst & Young in New York.
Since the introduction of FirstWindow 2000, a number of other banks have developed Windows-based systems.
Harris Trust and Savings Bank, Chicago, recently launched a pilot for its Multilink product. The product was initially designed as a way to access payments systems, but the bank has also released a software module that gives customers access to account information.
"From the transaction initiation perspective, it's a single window for multiple payment systems such as ACH, simple electronic data interchange, Fed Wire, and Swift," said Dennis Chapman, Harris Trust's manager of electronic services.
Similarly, Chase Manhattan Corp. last June rolled out a Windows-based version of its information reporting and transaction initiation product. It plans to add several more functions to it over the next several months.
Chase' product obtains information from a customer's accounts at other institutions and allows for multicurrency transactions. Applications under development include foreign exchange, check printing capabilities, and a worksheet product.
"We are actually in the process of rolling it out," a Chase spokesman said. "We haven't just taken our product and put it on Windows, we've built a whole new product.