$22 Billion Crestar Financial Corp. Chooses Microsoft Windows NT-Based Solution To Run Mission-Critical Bank Branch Operations

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 26, 1997 — Crestar Bank is converting all its branches to a computer infrastructure based on the Microsoft® Windows NT® Server network operating system.

Richmond, Va.-based Crestar, the nation’s 34th-largest bank with $22 billion in assets (year end 1996), is replacing its current OS/2 operating system with Windows NT Server running the Windows® 95 operating system on desktops and a core banking solution from Argo Data Resource Corp. of Dallas, a Microsoft Certified Solution Developer.

“What Crestar has done is equip itself for the next century,” said Mike Dusche, worldwide financial services industry manager at Microsoft. “By using solutions based on Windows NT, Crestar is positioned to take advantage of every alternate delivery channel, including the Internet, and it can add customer services rapidly without specialized computer code or a massive overhaul of its infrastructure. In the long run it will be Crestar customers who will benefit.”

The Windows NT-based system will be installed on 1,800 platform workstations across almost 400 branches by the end of August. A second phase of the project, which is now being piloted, is a totally re-engineered teller system also running on Windows NT and Argo’s BANKPRO that will be installed on approximately 2,000 teller workstations. The project is scheduled to be fully deployed in the second quarter of 1998.

“We are introducing a combination of truncation and automation that will eliminate or automate the handling of more than 100 million items of paper annually,” said Dave Holman, senior vice president of branch operations at Crestar. “Windows NT has the stability that we felt we had to have, and Windows 95 is our corporate standard. We’re moving toward much greater compatibility between branch networks and the rest of our organization, and as we move toward linking branches together in a wide area network, we couldn’t live with the technical incompatibilities that we had with OS/2.”

Crestar’s teller system, BANKPRO, will include magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) readers, card swipe PIN pads, MICR laser printers for official checks and counter documents, and paperless validator printers for receipts. In addition, the Argo system allows Crestar to post alert messages for fraud and Bank Secrecy Act requirements. Tellers will also be able to make electronic referrals of sales prospects to customer sales representatives.

“This system will allow a teller with the proper training and security clearance to open an account or initiate a loan application through the same terminal,” Holman said. “In the newly popular specialty branches in supermarkets and retail outlets, this versatility really gets retail folks excited.”

“BANKPRO provides automation for all delivery channels, from call centers to mortgage banking, and allows Crestar’s Windows NT-based servers to exchange information with its existing infrastructure,” said Max Martin, chairman at Argo. “Tellers have more contact with customers than anyone but have traditionally been the least equipped, so a system such as

BANKPRO means greater use of technology, reduced errors, improved productivity and better service for customers.”

Argo Data Resource Corp. is a software and professional services company that develops, markets, implements and supports retail delivery application software solutions for the financial services industry. Argo’s products and services are designed to increase sales effectiveness, improve service quality and enhance the risk assessment capability of tellers, platform personnel, direct and indirect lending officers, small business and mortgage lenders, call center representatives and bank management. A common set of applications is used to service branch, call center processing, centralized and decentralized lending, CTI and Internet banking.

Crestar Bank offers a range of financial services through some 400 locations in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia as well as in selected markets nationally. It is a subsidiary of $22 billion-asset Crestar Financial Corp. Other Crestar subsidiaries provide insurance, mortgage banking and full service securities and investment advisory services.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Windows NT and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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