Seeking to satisfy a growing demand for its cash management services, River City Bank in Sacramento, Calif., has licensed software from Harbinger EDI Services.

The $300 million-asset community bank installed the Atlanta-based company's InTouch Cash Manager system earlier this year.

Now, when a customer using a modem dials into River City's central computer, the InTouch product can access the pertinent account information and perform a wide range of cash management functions on-line.

Can Print Statements

Bank customers, for example, can check their balances, transfer funds, and reconcile accounts. The product also enables them to initiate wire transfers, stop payments, and pay off loans electronically.

In addition, InTouch can print electronic bank statements on demand.

Using a special interface, InTouch can also "bridge" a customer's accounts-payable software into the bank's system to perform accounts-payable reconciliation.

A separate module allows customers to print checks at their businesses.

After disconnecting, the InTouch system can record and process all activity information on a daily basis.

About 20 Users

According to Diane Senna, an assistant vice president at River City Bank, close to 20 customers are now using the service.

She said InTouch is particularly popular among local law firms, but a hospital, an engineering firm, and a grocery store chain have installed it as well.

According to George S. Hart, a senior vice president at Harbinger EDI, most community banks don't have cash management products that allow them to compete with larger institutions.

Customers Retention

"InTouch levels the playing field and enables a bank like River City to leverage its strong ties to the community," said Mr. Hart.

"It helps them retain customers who might leave the bank, and it gives bankers a reason to call on new customers as well."

Mr. Hart also said that InTouch significantly strengthens a bank's customer relationships in measurable ways.

In a customer survey he cited, 33% of the respondents said that if they had an account at another institution, they moved that account to a bank that offered InTouch.

Ms. Sullivan is a freelance writer based in New York.

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