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UMB Bank Seeks Mutual Success

Missouri-based bank maintains competitive parity through flexibility in payments.

Despite its relatively small asset size, UMB Bank (Kansas City, Mo., $7.9 billion in assets) has built up an impressive profile in treasury management services. Outgrowing its regional Missouri roots, its sales team considers any company having an affinity to the Midwest - even if it's just a manufacturing plant or a representative office in the region - to be fair game.

Among its clients, the bank supports some of the most well-known mutual fund companies, by sending and receiving automated clearing house (ACH) transactions on their behalf. Also, UMB Bank helps these firms offer interest-bearing checking accounts to their mutual fund shareholders. "It's really a transaction clearing account," says James Rundberg, vice president of financial services at UMB Bank. "We're doing all the back office and the interfacing, as well as the conversion-to-image of some of those paper items."

UMB Bank manages these efforts by achieving technology parity with its big-bank competition. "We're running the same infrastructure as the top 20 in the country," says Rundberg. For example, the bank uses PEP+ reACH from CheckFree (Atlanta, Ga.) for accounts-receivable conversion (ARC) and has deployed retail lockbox technology from J&B Software (Blue Bell, Pa.).

More recently, the bank has been implementing Fundtech's (Jersey City, N.J.) Global PAYplus software for consolidated global payments, which has been designed to allow wide latitude in pricing. "It has a rules-based database, which affords us the nimbleness for pricing of individual services and products to the relationship or to the account level," says David Fuller, SVP and director of treasury management of UMB.

The Fundtech software also incorporates access to the SWIFT network for inter-bank communication to support its moderately sized international trade business. "We do utilize SWIFT both within our trust system, as well as within our international products, for our customers that do have a need for foreign exchange and sending funds overseas," says Rundberg.

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