Case Study Summary:
Clearing House Association of the Southwest
Build a secure, nationwide banking transaction system
ADC's Business Consulting and Application Development
A secure portal that processes multiple exchanges and over $5B in daily transactions.
"We had no hardware or software glitches. I couldn't have asked for it to go any better. Every time [ADC] found something that they could do better than what we requested, they let us know. Throughout development ADC continually sought feedback and incorporated small details that added to the value of the system."
Tom D'Aquisto
Manager of Operations
Clearing House Association of the Southwest

Clearing House Association of the Southwest
Where does all the money go?

The country's largest financial clearinghouse, The Clearing House Association of the Southwest (CHAS), was expanding its operations. Presently, CHAS was settling nearly 150 million bank-to-bank transactions monthly between Texas financial institutions within their Federal Reserve accounts. Within one year of the expansion, CHAS would be responsible for settling the financial transactions of virtually every major banking institution in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico and Utah, with a total daily transaction volume of more than $5 billion.

CHAS needed a secure financial portal to allow this large and disparate community of financial institutions to streamline the complex settlement process. The Settlement Exchange Portal would provide a means for uniform settlement of transactions with the financial institutions and the Federal Reserve Bank. In addition to providing a secure information exchange, the portal needed 24x7 availability to handle the multitude of individual exchanges. The portal also required scalability to accommodate future growth of the community that could include every major settlement exchange in the country.

Alliance Data was engaged to design and develop a national clearinghouse portal. The settlement portal clears all bank-to-bank transactions occurring among members throughout each day. At specified times each day, members connect to the settlement system to transmit transactions. When all financial institutions have transmitted their data for a particular exchange, the system settles the exchange. The settlement creates data for the Federal Reserve Banks to summarize the dollar movements between the financial institutions and the appropriate Federal Reserve accounts. At each settlement, the portal also generates key reports for its membership on the net results of the settlement. These reports can be picked up via the portal or received automatically by fax. The portal was designed to handle the growing demands from CHAS membership for more sophisticated features, such as the ability to exchange items with members of other clearinghouses inside and outside their respective Federal Reserve districts.

The system began processing multiple exchanges daily for the major financial institutions in Texas and Florida on schedule. The Settlement Portal delivered numbers to its financial institutions faster, cleaner, and more accurately than before. Within the first 6 months of operation the settlement portal processed more than $1 trillion in transactions. By the end of the first year, the system was settling the financial transactions for all major institutions in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico and Utah. Plans are currently underway for the system to become the national standard, with two major clearinghouses in California and New York joining the membership.

Microsoft Windows NT
Microsoft Visual Basic
Microsoft SQL Server
Crystal Reports
Compaq Proliant and Prosignia Servers