Continuing its drive to link up the nation's regional check clearing organizations, The Clearing House Payments Company (TCH, New York) announced that its SVPCO-Check Services subsidiary would provide check collection and settlement services to banks formerly served by the Upstate New York Clearing House Association (UNYCHA). TCH had previously provided settlement services for UNYCHA under a processing contract.
Over the past two years, TCH has entered into similar arrangements with clearinghouse organizations in Chicago and California, as well as with several regional clearinghouses in the Northeast. "We started with New York and New Jersey and rolled in Long Island, and then Philadelphia, and then Connecticut," explains Jerry Milano, senior vice president of SVPCO. "Now, we're pulling in upstate New York."
UNYCHA's member banks will now have the ability to interchange checks directly with the New York money center banks, using a consistent set of check rules and settlement procedures. "Once you join our clearing association, you're able to interchange with everybody else that's in the association," notes Milano.
Another benefit to UNYCHA's member banks is the ability to focus on running their individual businesses, instead of having to manage a not-for-profit entity such as a regional clearinghouse. "They were a volunteer organization," explains Milano. "As banks and payments become more and more complex, and as banks try to manage down their internal expenses, they don't have the staff to be committing to volunteer organizations."
"Without a significant increase in staff, we're able to dramatically increase the reach of the organizations and, of course, lower the overall management expense," adds Milano.
Yet it's also critical for the member banks to have access to a wider range of services. "SVPCO-Check Services has expanded capabilities that will streamline the check collection and settlement process and ultimately lower costs," stated Curtis Allison, former president of UNYCHA and operations manager, Empire Corporate Credit Union (Albany, N.Y.) in a press release. "Moving our volume to SVPCO-Check Services made good sense for all of our members over the long term because of SVPCO's growing scale and reach."