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Cynthia Ramsaran
Cynthia Ramsaran
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Bank of Hawaii Clients Log On for Letters of Credit

Bank improves its letter-of-credit process by using an Internet-based interface.

When the Bank of Hawaii wanted to upgrade its PC-based interface for letter of credit customers, it turned to solutions provider Misys (Evesham, England) for an Internet-based way for customer to submit their applications.

The Honolulu-based bank with $9.5 billion in assets was previously using a PC-based interface that required clients to connect through a dial-up connection to fill out letter-of-credit applications. When the bank's license for its current trade finance system was about to expire the following year, the financial institution decided to go with a newer, more advanced solution.

LOW-COST SOLUTION

The upgrade of the bank's current system would have cost significantly more than licensing another product, offering more reason for Bank of Hawaii to select a combination of Misys' Trade Innovation and Trade Innovation e-banking products, according to Katherine Vehikite, vice president and manager of the bank's international banking department.

"We were looking for a cost effective solution to replace our current system, "says Vehikite. "And that required an expensive upgrade and our license was expiring the following year."

The Misys product combines a browser-based remote corporate access front-end system with a trade finance back-end. It provides clients with the ability to initiate letters of credit as well as exchange information with a direct link to the bank.

The new system offers additional functionality that the older system did not have. It allows the client to check the status of applications and outstanding balances without the need of being at a specific workstation. The bank's previous letter-of-credit process involved communication via telephone, fax machines and a dial-up system. The e-banking solution, re-branded by the bank as Bank of Hawaii TradeLink, allows clients to go onto the insititution's Web site to monitor letter-of-credit applications and outstanding balances.

"It (Bank of Hawaii TradeLink) enables the customer to transmit their letter-of-credit applications directly to us via the internet and it also provides them with a communication link for direct access to their information," says Vehikite.

"They can go on and see their outstanding letters of credit. We use it back and forth to check discrepancies and approvals and disapprovals," she adds.

With this new system, the bank aspires to promote enhanced customer service, as well as improve operating efficiencies without the need of an increase in staff.

"We hope to be able to provide our customers with a better solution," says Vehikite. "We also hope to increase productivity and efficiency and be able to have more flexibility."

The bank, working closely with Misys, went live with the product in May after a seven-month implementation process, according to Clinton Takeuchi, assistant vice president and operations manager, international banking department, Bank of Hawaii.

"Once we had chosen to implement the project it was aggressive from start to finish, starting in October and implemeting on May 5," says Takeuchi. The implementation included everything from "going through discussing our business requirements, system and application configurations and corporate training," he says. "We were able to do it, due to working hand in hand with some very qualified staff, both on and off site, with Misys and Bank of Hawaii."

SMOOTH AS SILK

The implementation process went smoothly without any disruptions and the bank has already seen positive results concerning customer service, according to Vehikite.

"Misys was able to meet our requirements in our time frame with no surprises," she says. "We have happy customers using the Internet link and we have seen an improvement in our productivity and our efficiency related to the processing."

FAST FACTS

INSTITUTION: Bank of Hawaii (Honolulu)

ASSETS: $9.5 billion

BUSINESS CHALLENGE: Bank of Hawaii needed to upgrade its current PC-based system to a cost-effective Internet-based system for letter-of-credit application processes.

SOLUTION: Misys (Evesham, England), Trade Innovation e-banking solution.

KEY QUOTE: Bank of Hawaii TradeLink "enables the customer to transmit their letter-of-credit applications directly to us via the internet, and it also provides them with a communication link for direct access to their information."

-Katherine Vehikite
VP & manager, international banking department, Bank of Hawaii

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