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North America Bytes

GMAC Bank inks co-branded Web site deal with Ameritrade; First Security State Bank selects branch automation solution from National Source One; ABM AMRO and BillingZone sell electronic invoice services to Eastman Kodak Company; JP Morgan Institutional Trust Services launches Data Consolidator, a secure online service that aggregates and consolidates account data; CIBC World Markets licenses a volatility dispersion strategy analyzer from EGAR Technology.

GMAC Bank and Ameritrade Holding Corporation have formed an alliance to provide a broad suite of online brokerage and financial capabilities to the bank's customers.

The two companies launched an exclusive Ameritrade/GMAC Bank co-branded Web site (http://gmacbank.ameritrade.com) to the GMAC Bank customer base which is comprised of GM/GMAC employees and their families, GM/GMAC retirees, customers and shareholders of General Motors and its subsidiaries, as well as employees of dealer and supplier networks across the country. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase stocks and mutual funds through the Ameritrade Brokerage trading platform. They will be able to access products and investment features including real-time account information and advanced subscription services such as streaming quotes, analytical tools for screening and charting.

"This is a strategic alliance that combines Ameritrade's strong branded brokerage and technological investment infrastructure with GM and GMAC's marketing power and large affinity base--it's win-win for both companies," said Jeff Johnson, president/CEO of GMAC Bank. "Together, we will be able to provide exclusive promotional offers to our customers, which we hope will help to introduce them to the world of online investing."

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First Security State Bank (FSSB), Charleston, Mo., has selected BranchConnect Teller Suite to manage its day-to-day teller transactions.

Teller Suite is a Windows-based, 32-bit online teller solution that includes all the necessary hardware and software needed to perform daily teller transactions. The solution is produced by National Source One (NSO), the Springfield, Mo.-based marketing, sales and installation support consortium of systems integrators.

According to, the bank chose NSO to install Teller Suite for its low cost, ease of use and excellent training. "We looked at competing teller software as well as NSO's solutions and came to the conclusion that Teller Suite was easier to use and less expensive," said Chris Stringer, information specialist manager for Security State Bancshares, FSSB's holding company. "Plus, NSO's support team trained our tellers in a pleasant and comprehensive manner. Since many of our tellers had little computer experience, thorough training was important. NSO's training calmed anxieties and demonstrated the benefits of working with computers."

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ABN AMRO Bank announced that Eastman Kodak Company will utilize its electronic invoice presentment and payment (EIPP) services as part of the company's overall global eCommerce strategy. ABN AMRO is packaging its solution with BillingZone, one of the leading providers of EIPP and the industry's only consolidator model.

By adopting EIPP, Kodak hopes to transform its existing paper-intensive billing process into an electronic paperless invoicing and collection environment. Currently, Kodak generates several million invoices annually. The payer-centric approach to EIPP will allow Kodak to address the growing customer demand for fast and convenient electronic invoicing and payment processing. In addition, both the company and its customers will benefit from the ability to schedule payments,automate the dispute process and better manage cash flow.

"Our vision for the electronic paperless process involves creating a global electronic invoicing and payment infrastructure that enables Kodak to efficiently invoice customers, automate cash application and collect electronic payments," said William G. Love, treasurer, Eastman Kodak Company.

"The strategic alliance we've formed with BillingZone endorses our commitment to develop services that enable our customers to succeed in e-commerce," said Cindy Murray, group senior vice president, ABN AMRO. "We take an all-inclusive approach to EIPP--accommodating highly variable invoice data and wide-ranging global regulatory requirements while at the same time recognizing the importance of payer adoption, all of which are critical to Kodak's B2B transactions."

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JP Morgan Institutional Trust Services has launched Data Consolidator, a secure online service that aggregates and consolidates account data covering a range of account types from multiple financial institutions, maintaining the data on a server that the client can access at anytime. Data Consolidator is available online at jpmorgan.com/dataconsolidator.

Aimed at treasurers and finance directors of municipalities, Data Consolidator, through a direct feed, brings together data from all the banks with which the municipality deals, whatever the type of account--cash, investment, or trust--presenting the data in one consistent online view. The new service dramatically reduces the time needed to perform monthly and annual reconcilements while virtually eliminating the paperwork burden and accompanying cost of multiple statements for multiple accounts from multiple banks.

The password-protected Data Consolidator service lets users access their data anytime from anywhere to view a range of standard reports or to create customized reports. They can manipulate the data online, export it into Microsoft" Excel and import it into their own systems.

"Data Consolidator is an Internet-based tool that delivers process improvement," said Tyrone Po, senior vice president and Institutional Trust Services' head of e-commerce. "Finance departments today spend far too much time reconciling multiple accounts from multiple institutions. Data Consolidator allows clients to customize their own data in a way that makes most sense to them thus providing an enhanced ability to do the kind of analysis and long term planning that can have a positive impact on performance."

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CIBC World Markets, the investment and merchant banking operation of CIBC, has licensed EGAR Dispersion, a volatility dispersion strategy analyzer.

The analyzer, which is produced by EGAR Technology, a provider of trading and risk management systems and custom application development, is a tool that highlights investment opportunities when changes occur in the relationship between options on an equity index (such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average) and options on the constituent index members.

CIBC World Markets' Equity Arbitrage Group will employ the new volatility dispersion strategy analyzer.

"We were delighted to learn that EGAR has designed a full-fledged analytical system to perform the functions we need for our new dispersion trading portfolio," said Sanjay Dasgupta, executive director of the Equity Arbitrage Group at CIBC World Markets. "With EGAR's new system, we now have a more effective and cost efficient dispersion strategy."

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