Magazine article American Banker

Latest Bank Win A Good Sign for Viewpointe Shift

Magazine article American Banker

Latest Bank Win A Good Sign for Viewpointe Shift

Article excerpt

BancorpSouth Inc. has become the third banking company in two months to agree to connect its own check image archive to the massive shared repository operated by Viewpointe Archive Services LLC.

Viewpointe recently permitted nonmembers to share images with its members. The BancorpSouth agreement, announced Monday, demonstrates that the new strategy is helping the vendor sign up outside banks to its Pointe2Pointe image-exchange service.

The other two recent deals were with Compass Bancshares Inc. of Birmingham, Ala., and Synovus Financial Corp. of Columbus, Ga.

This is the third link to an image network for the $10.8 billion-asset BancorpSouth, of Tupelo, Miss. Bill Gully, a first vice president at the company, said it has been sending items to the Federal Reserve since December, using the central bank's FedForward service. It has also been sending and receiving image files since January over the Endpoint Exchange Network operated by Metavante Corp., the technology subsidiary of the Milwaukee banking company Marshall & Ilsley Corp.

"Viewpointe was a natural extension for us" and "the next best opportunity" to boost BancorpSouth's image-exchange volume, Mr. Gully said. "Our philosophy is to clear electronically those items that make sense."

BancorpSouth is using images or image replacement documents to clear about 8% of its checks, but those items account for 25% to 30% of its dollar value, he said.

The Viewpointe connection could increase those numbers significantly. Viewpointe's 11 customers include several of the country's largest banks, and it claims they store about 65% to 70% of the nation's check volume within the Viewpointe archive.

Mr. Gully would not say how much of BancorpSouth's check volume is drawn on Viewpointe banks. He said his company plans to start talking this week with potential trading partners that store images with Viewpointe. …

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