Chase Manhattan Corp. has rolled out a multimillion-dollar client- server system for its retail banking business to provide customers with one-stop banking.
The system is meant to let the New York-based money center's 12 million retail customers easily receive up-to-date account information on any product via any of the institution's delivery channels.
The bank embarked on the project six months ago to make its various product delivery systems communicate with each other more seamlessly, thus providing a higher level of customer service.
"We have decided to make sure that the right people have the right information at the right time to service, sell, market, and manage customers' needs," said Michael Levine, division executive of regional banking systems. "By using this system, we have set up a 'virtual relationship' with customers; anytime a customer makes an inquiry, we can provide the support."
Chase officials have coined the phrase "one and done" to describe what the new technology offers customers.
Before the institution installed the technology, customers could receive real-time account information only if a bank representative navigated an array of complex systems supported by separate business units.
With the new system, "customers make one call or visit to us and their business is done," said Mr. Levine.
Richard Crone, a senior manager at KPMG Peat Marwick in Los Angeles, said one-stop banking brings together the customer's entire financial relationship in one location.
"It is more than a central information file, it links everything between the bank and the customers in one application," he said. "The No. 1 one thing people want is a complete illustration of their financial position, and this type of application provides these services."
Chase is using PC-based technology to move away from the idea that banks need to develop distinct product pipelines to customers.
"The technology allows customers to come into the bank their way," Mr. Levine said. "This a clear example of how we can be reactive to customers' needs with the advent of the personal computer, fax machine, telephone, and emerging delivery capabilities."
Mr. Levine said the software, which was developed by Newport, R.I.-based Early Cloud & Co., is the heart of the client-server system. He added that the cost of the project, including hardware and software, came in under $10 million.
"Because the information is presented in a clear format, the account executives are able to access the data and use it more efficiently when answering customers' questions," he said. "It also helps us predict and anticipate customers needs more efficiently.'
For example, last week Chase rolled out a new service which allows customers to pay mortgage, credit card, and auto loans at branches and have their accounts immediately updated, Mr. Levine explained.
"The customer can now pay their bills in the branches and have the accounts posted that night and the information is available the next business day," said Mr. Levine.
Mr. Crone said the client-server technology allows the bank to consolidate its massive amounts of mainframe-based account information more efficiently.
The system also provides a technological springboard in which Chase can eventually allow customers to service more of their banking needs themselves, either through automated telephone voice-response systems or PC-based home banking.
"By using these types of applications, the information is put together in an easy-to-access format," Mr. Crone said. "It provides the bank with an electronic interface which is the first step in building the foundation to banking without branches."