Sterling Software Inc. has formed an alliance with Thompson Financial Publishing to provide easier electronic access to data in the Thomson banking directories.
Many bankers in check processing and other activities use the Thomson data - in book form or on magnetic tape - to find routing/transit numbers and other details on U.S. financial institutions.
Dallas-based Sterling is to combine its check-processing expertise with Thomson's data base in a system allowing employees to obtain interbank information by pressing a few keys on their computer terminals.
The product, Vector Bank Data Base, will enable workers to display desired information on a video screen while running another program.
"For some banks, the downside with looking up routing information in books was that it was time-consuming," said Don Chatten, product development manager at Thomson. "And with tapes, banks had to develop their own interfaces and software programs to sort the information."
The publisher, based in Skokie, Ill., is a unit of Thomson Corp. of Canada, which also owns American Banker. The directory business and custodianship of the American Bankers Association routing-number system were formerly owned by Rand-McNally.
Ms. Sullivan is a freelance writer based in New York.