Unisys targets utilities on back of bank deal


Unisys targets utilities on back of bank deal

Nick Huber

Unisys is to target utilities and high street banks with cheque processing and payment services after bagging an innovative outsourcing deal with Lloyds TSB and Barclays banks.

The 10-year tie-up, announced last week, saw Lloyds TSB and Barclays outsource their cheque processing to computer services company Unisys through a new jointly-owned subsidiary, Intelligent Processing Solutions Limited (iPSL).

Unisys, which claimed the deal would earn it about £500m in revenues over 10 years, is keen to target other banks and industries in the expanding payment market through iPSL.

John Smith, vice-president of global industry financial services at Unisys, said: "We are hoping to attract high street banks to this venture and grab market share in the remittance process."

Utilities, which still process a high volume of bill cheques themselves, would be a prime target for the new services company. "Our proposition is that clients send cheques direct to us," said Smith.

iPSL, which uses its own reader-sorter equipment and NT servers, is also planning to maintain an image archive of cheques. This service would allow cheque images to be sent back to companies over the internet to help clients cut costs.

The number of cheques being written is falling dramatically. Lloyds TSB said it has experienced a 40% decrease in the last 10 years.

Under the joint venture Unisys owns 51% of iPSL, with Barclays and Lloyds TSB each taking a 24.5% stake.

Barclays is also considering further outsourcing of routine functions in a bid to reduce back-office costs.

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