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Bank of America, Chase and IBM Form New Venture to Enable Web-based Check Imaging

Potential to Reduce Industry Check Processing Costs by as much as 30 Percent

New York - 01 Nov 2000: - Bank of America, The Chase Manhattan Bank, and IBM today announced the formation of Viewpointe Archive Services, a new check image archive company that will jump start the banking industry's conversion to check imaging. By creating a common digital archive for check images, Viewpointe Archive Services will facilitate the exchange of check images among banks, reduce check processing costs by as much as 30 percent and lay the foundation for consumers to retrieve digitized check images from the Web.

Viewpointe Archive Services, which will be operational later this year, is creating an industry precedent by digitizing the way banks process checks with each other and laying the foundation for moving the check processing industry into a digital environment. While Viewpointe will focus initially on facilitating online retrieval of such items as checks and account statements, its vision is to provide a national digital archive for all items created during banking transactions. After that point, member banks will be able to share digitized images electronically, significantly cutting processing costs and improving customer service and fraud detection.

In creating the archive,Viewpointe member banks will capture digital images of check and check-related items as they are processed and cleared, and then transmit these images to one of two archiving centers managed by IBM.

"As the nation's largest bank, we clear more than 44 million checks a day, 11.6 billion a year," says James D. Dixon, Bank of America, www.bankofamerica.com executive. "This archive will allow our customers to see and print their cleared checks at our Web-enabled ATMs, on www.bankofamerica.com or in our banking centers. We have already launched a check-imaging pilot in Atlanta to determine the benefits of a digitized processing environment. In the next few months, we will begin to roll it out to our banking centers."

The two founding banks clear more than 56 million checks a day or 14 billion checks a year.

The check archive, originally implemented by Chase, has been in use for over three years at the bank. Chase spent more than four years developing the solution and has contributed the technology and intellectual capital to the new company. The technology platform consists of numerous hardware and software products developed by IBM and Check Solutions, the leader in check image-related software solutions and a key IBM business partner.

The new company will provide individual banks with a cost-effective alternative to acquiring, installing and managing expensive image and archive technology on their own. In addition, by taking advantage of Viewpointe Archive Services' experience and proven technology,participating banks will be able to reduce their image platform installation time by as much as a third.

"The formation of Viewpointe Archive Services is a major event for the check processing industry," said William H. Hoefling, Executive Vice President, The Chase Manhattan Bank. "Chase has already set a new industry standard by using image technology to completely re-engineer the way we process checks. Now, Viewpointe Archive Services will be the foundation that the banking industry can rely upon to exchange checks with one another and, in the process, vastly improve service to our customers."

IBM Global Services will manage the information technology infrastructure for Viewpointe Archive Services with the check image archives located at two of IBM's data centers in Dallas and Boulder, Colo.

"In the 1990s, banks made important strides toward e-business by enabling consumers to pay bills and make other transactions online," said Robert Zapfel, general manager, Financial Services Sector, IBM Global Services. "Today, Viewpointe Archive Services will extend the benefits of e-business to the entire banking industry by creating a Web-enabled infrastructure for check processing that is secure, reliable, and capable of handling an unlimited number of check images."

Each of the Viewpointe Archive Services founders has made an investment in the company. Bank of America and Chase have committed to long-term customer contracts with Viewpointe Archive Services. The independent company is preparing to offer these same services to other large financial institutions.

Further information can be found at www.viewpointearchive.com.

Contact(s) information

IBM
Nancy Kaplan

IBM
914-766-4265
nkaplan@us.ibm.com

Chase
Kathleen Kenney Lucente

IBM
212-270-6925
kathleen.kenneylucente@chase.com

Bank of America
Brad Russell

IBM
704-388-6806
Brad.russell@bankofamerica.com

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