Banks such as Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase have been effective at taking advantage of the repeal of Glass-Steagall Act requirements that separated commercial banking from investment banking. As a result, they can offer advice on how to raise money in the capital markets - in addition to offering loans and treasury management expertise - to their corporate clients.
At first, the largest companies were the target of these combined services. But now, the middle market - small and medium-sized businesses - is getting their share of attention.
With its slogan, "Wall Street Capabilities, Main Street Values," KeyBank, the banking subsidiary of KeyCorp (Cleveland; $90.7 billion in assets), has aggressively targeted the middle market. "We, as the bank, want to become our clients' trusted adviser," says Debra Sciano, VP and senior product manager of depository and collection products, KeyBank. "We are focusing on providing the right solutions to the customers that will meet their overall needs."
KeyBank's approach can be seen in its remote deposit capture solution, dubbed KeyCapture. "The client needs to be able to make deposits electronically into their deposit account, to replace the former process where they used to ... physically transport the paper to the bank," says Sciano. The improved process also makes it possible for the bank to clear items more quickly and to improve funds availability, she adds.
KeyCapture is powered by software from Alogent (Alpharetta, Ga.). While the current version is a "thick-client" solution that requires software to be installed at the client site, KeyBank intends to release an Internet-only version later in the year that operates as a thin client. "We recognize that it's not necessarily a one-size-fits-all type of solution," says Mike Barnum, EVP, client services group, KeyBank. "It's all in what's best for that customer."
The challenge with any implementation is configuring the software to work for that particular client, especially regarding the diversity of documents that the system has to be trained to recognize. "There's a vast collection of source documents and checks out there," says Phil Carter, vice president, client services, KeyBank. "This would be a slam dunk if everything was the same."
The Alogent solution is highly configurable and is capable of recognizing the different types of documents that come through the scanner. "We have to go into the software and set up the parameters for the bank's operating environment, as well as the client's operating environment," says Barnum. "Once you get it set up, it's pretty much standard."
The system allows KeyCapture to detect problematic images at the point of capture. "We don't want to bring a poor image or a bad image into our back office and have to adjust our customer's account after the fact," says Carter. "We'd rather notify that client right up front."