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INTERNATIONAL BYTES

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group updates ATM system with product from S2Systems; China Merchants Bank uses eBRIDGE products and services to build online financial site; American Express Bank implements financial portal service from Fincentric Corporation; Kredyt Bank S.A. install credit decisioning platform from Fair, Isaac and Company; Two Swiss banks select SunGard Business Integration platform to provide financial network connectivity.

Australia and new Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) will use a system from S2Systems Inc., Dallas, to update its ATM and EFTPOS network.

The system, OpeN/2, will replace the bank's existing proprietary system with a Windows 2000-compatible transaction switching and payment authorization application. OpeN/2 will enable ANZ to handle extremely high volumes of transactions with far greater speed, reliability, scalability and economy.

"The performance capabilities of OpeN/2 winning in Windows 2000 on SQL represent a new benchmark for the banking and financial services industry," said Davis Boyles, CIO, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited. "With the open architecture project, expected outcomes include lower costs, improved customer service, quicker time-to-market, and positioning ANZ to integrate with an expanded array of consumer-direct technologies."

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China Merchants Bank (CMB), Shenzen, China, will build an online financial site using products from eBRIDGE, a subsidiary of New York City-based Bridge Information Systems.

CMB will use the Bridge Internet Tool Kit to build the site. eBRIDGE will then enrich the website with competitive services and global market information including advanced charting with 25-year historical data, real time FX quotes, global and regional news, watchlists and rankings.

"CMB has always been in the forefront of creating and offering e-banking services," said Freeman Pung, manager, Personal Banking Head Office, China Merchants Bank. "We believe by working with eBRIDGE, we can tap its global financial information and technology to efficiently exploit the opportunities in the Internet age and thereby expedite our effort in globalizing our online financial services in China."

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American Express Bank, the international banking subsidiary of American Express, will implement a financial portal service using software from Fincentric Corporation, Vancouver.

The software package, called I-Wealthview Banking, allows institutions to provide their customers with a financial portal for managing their banking investments and financial planning. It creates a personalized Web page on which a customer can view account balances, pay bills, place stock trades, purchase insurance and net worth statements, regardless of where the financial data originates.

American Express Bank will use the software in six countries.

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Kredyt Bank S.A., Warsaw, Poland, will install an automated credit decisioning platform from Fair, Isaac and Company, San Rafael, Calif.

The platform utilizes a decision engine for account origination and credit application models called StrategyWare, which gives the credit grantor powerful adaptive control capabilities to improve origination and credit decisions and test and execute complex strategies.

Scheduled to go on line this winter, the state-of-the-art system will enable Kredyt Bank to consistently and quickly assess risk for all consumer and small business portfolios and make more profitable, customer-centric lending decisions.

"We chose Fair, Isaac for this project because of their deep expertise in analytics and their unparalleled experience in market-specific areas, specifically the Polish market," said Frank Jansen, deputy CEO of Kredyt Bank.

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Schwyzer Kantonalbank and Urner Kantonalbank, Switzerland, have selected a platform from SunGard Business Integration to provide connectivity to key financial networks such as SWIFT, SIC, euroSIC and SECOM.

The platform, called MINT Knowledge, is an integrated, multi-network solution that will allow the banks to improve operational efficiency, manage risk and reduce costs for true straight-through processing. It will also help the bank better implement a new nationwide banking package called FIS-2000.

"The MINT solution was able to offer us the greatest range of financial gateway connectives enabling us to build a common communication platform for FIS-2000," said M. Lindauer, IT director for Schwyzer Kantonalbank. "The MINT solution enables us to increase our operational process and efficiency for the launch of our new banking application."

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