Wachovia Touts New Credit-Letter Tool

By Bills, Steve | American Banker, April 14, 2003 | Go to article overview

Wachovia Touts New Credit-Letter Tool


Bills, Steve, American Banker


By replacing vendor-supplied letter-of-credit software with a proprietary application available to importers online, Wachovia Corp. has rounded out its suite of trade finance products for corporate customers, an executive says.

Wachovia says it was the first bank in the world to enable companies to initiate letters of credit on the Internet. Michael Schmittlein, a managing director in the global trade services group of its international division, said it now allows its customers to see both import and export activity using a single sign-on.

Last week the Charlotte banking company announced the launch of the software, CyberImport, which allows importers to track transactions throughout the process, from issuance to discrepancy resolution and final settlement.

Mr. Schmittlein said in an interview Thursday that the software is designed to supplant two trade-finance applications -- a Web-based one that was developed by Tiger Systems Inc. of New York and is used by most of Wachovia's corporate customers, and a PC-based one that was developed in-house and is used by its largest customers.

Wachovia, then known as First Union Corp., beta tested the Tiger product in the mid-1990s and became the first banking company to enable such activity online, he said. (SunGard Data Systems Inc. bought Tiger in 1999.)

Some customers are still using the two old applications. Wachovia plans to have customers who currently use the Tiger software using CyberImport by yearend, Mr. …

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