Cross-payment, Exception Handling Software from Pegasystems

Smart Adjust 4.1 automates substitute check and ACH return handling; handles exceptions, disputes across the enterprise

Smart Adjust 4.1 automates substitute check and ACH return handling; handles exceptions, disputes across the enterprise

Cambridge, MA — September 16, 2004 — Pegasystems Inc. this week released PegaBANKING Smart Adjust 4.1, which it said is a cross-payment platform for automating payment exception handling in the retail banking industry.

The software is designed to address exceptions in check, automated clearing house (ACH), debit card, ATM and other areas, according to Pegasystems. New features include the ability to process substitute checks and automate handling of ACH disputes.

Pegasystems said Smart Adjust 4.1 has been built to help banks comply with the new Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (or 'Check 21') regulations by providing the capabilities to handle substitute checks, as well as paper checks, check images, ACH and other electronic payment types. The provider said that by handling disputes, errors and issues across all types of payments, the software enables financial institutions and service bureaus streamline their operations.

Smart Adjust 4.1's functionality includes support for substitute checks in all research and adjustment processes, ACH return automation and pre-packaged integration with Pegasystems' enterprise exception monitoring application.

"Banks today face enormous change in responding to Check 21, preparing for image exchange and supporting the escalating volumes of electronic payments," remarked Robert Hunt, a Retail and Wholesale Banking analyst at advisory and consulting firm TowerGroup. "The real challenges lie in the disputes, exceptions and customer issues that arise with these changes. Banks need a single solution that manages exceptions for checks and electronic payments that is flexible enough to adapt to changing business needs, and which provides cross-department processing capability for effective management of all payment types."

Check 21's arrival and the growth of electronic payments are driving up exception management costs significantly, Pegasystems said. ACH network volume grew 21 percent year over year in the second quarter of 2004, and ACH debit returns are projected to grow 18 percent from 2004 to 2005, according to NACHA — The Electronic Payments Association.

"The transaction exceptions that impose high operational costs and risks on financial institutions can often be quickly resolved when automated solutions are properly applied to the problem," said Pegasystems CEO Alan Trefler. "We've added greater intelligence to Smart Adjust with each release, so that banks and service bureaus can handle a greater proportion of payment exceptions automatically and profit from the growing volume of electronic transactions."