Magazine article American Banker

In Brief: Trustmark Hesitant to Exchange Images

Magazine article American Banker

In Brief: Trustmark Hesitant to Exchange Images

Article excerpt

Trustmark National Bank of Jackson, Miss., said it is quickly ramping up its image-capturing capabilities at its branches for processing checks at a central site but is more cautious about exchanging images with other banks.

Nicholas G. Anderson, a senior vice president and the bank operations manager at the main operating unit of the $8.2 billion-asset Trustmark Corp., said in an interview last week that check processing volume dropped 11% in the first half of the year, compared to the same period last year, as customers have switched to other payment forms, such as debit cards and online bill payment. As a result, per-item expenses are on the rise, Mr. Anderson said. "The biggest thing is the transportation cost."

Trustmark, which has 145 branches in Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas, is installing image-capturing software from Marshall & Ilsley Corp.'s VectorSGI. Mr. Anderson said he thinks the software will be ready to capture check images within 90 days.

"Our main strategy is to capture them there and not have to transport" the checks to Jackson, where Trustmark does all its check processing, he said. "We're going to save a good bit of money." (He would not put a dollar figure on the expected savings.)

Mr. Anderson also said he is less eager to start exchanging images with other banks. "There's still a lot of same-day settlement that we're doing with local banks," he said. About 30% to 40% of Trustmark's check volume is settled that way; only 9% of its checks are traveling such distances that image clearing would reduce the float from two days to one, he said. …

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