Magazine article American Banker

Bankers Systems' Software Bets on Windows 95, Windows NT

Magazine article American Banker

Bankers Systems' Software Bets on Windows 95, Windows NT

Article excerpt

A top compliance software company is staking its fortunes on an automated loan-origination product that many banks won't be able to use without costly upgrades to a new operating system.

Bankers Systems' high-powered Rembrandt, which ties together all the pieces of the loan application process, is to enter its final testing stage next month. The software is expected to be released this fall by the St. Cloud, Minn.-based company.

But a problem, some bankers and consultants say, is that Rembrandt requires top-of-the-line Windows 95 or Windows NT. These operating systems alone can cost a bank hundreds of dollars per computer terminal, and installing them can cost much more.

"The cost of the software isn't the most significant issue," said Tony Pallante, executive vice president of Chicago-based Avondale Federal Savings Bank. "It's the disruption to the business that happens when you're making the conversion and the cost of making sure that all the applications fit together."

A study by Tower Group, a Wellesley, Mass.-based research firm, found that about 10% of the 100 largest U.S. banks used Windows 95 or Windows NT last year as branch operating systems. The study predicted that proportion would rise to 18% by 1998.

Bankers Systems officials are not fazed by the paucity of Windows 95 users among banks. Vice president Hal Andrews predicted that the operating system would eventually be adopted by the entire industry.

Windows 95 can run only on PCs that use Pentium-type processors, the current generation. But "the hardware is becoming more and more powerful and becoming less and less expensive almost by the week," Mr. Andrews said. "That's what makes these changes more palatable for banks."

He compared using outdated computers for automating bank functions to "wanting to win the Indianapolis 500 using a 1983 Buick with regular gas. …

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