NationsBank announced today the formation of a new Internet-based transaction and information network, NationsBank Direct(SM), that lays the groundwork for the most dynamic interaction ever imagined between corporations and NationsBank. This new network uses standard, open Internet technologies and intelligent communications logic that enable corporations to manage their financial activity in one of the most secure and intuitive ways ever. Companies can choose to access NationsBank Direct through the Internet or a private network connection.
“NationsBank Direct will integrate a host of interactive communications technologies to make it easier for companies to get the right information to the right people at the right time,” says Nick Alex, NationsBank Global Treasury & Trade Product Division executive. Alex notes that NationsBank Direct will combine the latest communications technology with rules-based logic to notify companies of critical events by pager, telephone, e-mail, file transfer and facsimile, in addition to the proactive desktop notification provided today. Alex states that NationsBank Direct will page a corporation’s cash manager when their account has been credited with an important payment, or place a telephone call to the treasurer when their account balance reaches a certain level so the treasurer can make key investment decisions.
“NationsBank has believed for several years that the Internet would become the ‘network of networks’ that would facilitate all businesses in the future,” Alex states. “We’ve been preparing for the day when companies would use Internet technologies to connect to their customers, suppliers and banks as easily as they connect to internal colleagues,” he continues. “Customers will find that NationsBank Direct makes it as easy to monitor lockbox receipts or initiate a wire payment as it is to share a spreadsheet with a co-worker down the hall. And, all that companies need to use NationsBank Direct is Internet access and a web browser.”
The first release of NationsBank Direct, which is currently being piloted, incorporates several payment and receipt services and builds on the expertise that NationsBank derived in developing two existing Intranet transaction and reporting services introduced last year.
According to Alex, the Internet technologies at the foundation of NationsBank Direct translate into real efficiencies and bottom-line benefits for companies, not the least of which is the user’s ability to navigate through the network in a more logical and intuitive fashion. “For example, with NationsBank Direct, a customer can receive desktop notification of a potentially fraudulent check, then click on a link to view an image of the front and back of the check, and then click on another link to send a pay or return notification to NationsBank — all in a matter of seconds,” he says.
Intuitive user interfaces, which are an integral part of the NationsBank Direct network, provide a common look and feel for all services and makes it easier to train new staff in day-to-day functions. And since no NationsBank Direct software resides on a company’s PC, users don’t have to worry about downloading or installing new releases when they become available. In addition, standardized technology makes it simpler to integrate data throughout a corporation, across corporate departments and into back office processing systems, says Alex.
Future releases of NationsBank Direct will include the full range of US dollar and foreign currency payments, receipts, treasury management, foreign exchange, trade finance, investments and borrowing capabilities. “The beauty of the technology employed by NationsBank Direct is the ability to respond quickly to customer needs,” according to Alex. He notes that the open, standard components of these technologies enable NationsBank to swiftly develop capabilities inhouse based on customer input, and rapidly bring new capabilities to market. “We have worked closely with our customers to define NationsBank Direct functionality, and we’re excited that we can almost immediately translate customer preferences into usable features thanks to the rapid development this technology supports,” says Alex.
NationsBank is utilizing digital certificates, 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol and firewalls to secure electronic transactions and communications through NationsBank Direct. “The multiple layers of security in NationsBank Direct represent the most advanced methods available for securing corporate Internet banking activity, and far exceeds the security in place on bank transaction platforms today,” says Alex.
A new component of NationsBank Direct is Payments Direct which is making its debut at the annual Treasury Management Association Conference being held November 9-12 in San Francisco. Companies can use Payments Direct to monitor the status of payments, handle positive pay functions, view digital check images and manage account reconciliation. In addition, NationsBank Receipts On-Line is available on NationsBank Direct, providing companies with Internet access to search and reporting capabilities on their current day and previous day lockbox remittances. Additional payments, receipts and treasury management components will be added to NationsBank Direct in the first and second quarters of 1998. “The technological superiority and flexibility of NationsBank Direct will continue to grow with each enhancement,” Alex states.
NationsBank, offers a comprehensive range of treasury management and trade finance solutions to businesses worldwide. NationsBank is the fifth-largest U.S. banking company, with $242 billion in assets as of September 30, 1997. NationsBank Corporation (NYSE: NB) provides financial products and services nationally and internationally to individuals, businesses, corporations, institutional investors and government agencies.Details