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Regional Roundup

Thursday, October 1, 1998

Direct Deposit Week Coming in October

Plans are under way for the first-ever Direct Deposit Week, to be held Oct. 12-16. The week will focus attention on promoting direct deposit for both Social Security and employee payments, as well as on educating "cash consumers" (those without traditional bank accounts) about their options for receiving federal payments in preparation for EFT 99.

The Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve and the National Automated Clearing House Association are joining with ACH associations, financial institutions and community organizations in the effort. Financial institutions are encouraged to participate by hosting lobby promotions to spotlight the benefits of direct deposit to their individual customers and business customers.

Local community-based organizations also are helping organize activities, which will include distributing educational materials in the form of statement stuffers, posters and brochures and hosting local sign-up days. A national direct deposit sign-up day, featuring national and local events, is planned for Oct. 14.

For more information on how to participate, call Cheryl McCarthy at (314) 444-8459.

Fed to Offer New Net Settlement Service

By the end of 1998, the Federal Reserve will introduce a new, standardized net settlement service. The service will meet a number of key requirements, including: reducing settlement risks to participants in clearing arrangements by providing final settlement on the same day that settlement information is submitted; improving operational efficiency by not requiring the sending of individual Fedwire funds transfers to achieve settlement; and enhancing data security by including appropriate tools and procedures in a uniform, automated system.

The new service will be based on the submission of an electronic file by the settlement agent and will support multiple settlements in a day. The current service usually is based on a spreadsheet that is delivered to the Fed for entry into the Integrated Accounting System with finality generally deferred until 1 p.m. the next day.

For more information, call Jerry McGunnigle at (314) 444-8732.

Offline Activities Shifting to Boston Fed

As of Nov. 30, 1998, all Eighth District offline funds and book-entry security transfer services will be handled by the Offline Processing Center at the Boston Fed, as part of the Fed's nationwide consolidation. This means that all verifications, notifications and confirmations will be handled out of Boston. The procedures for offline transaction processing, however, will not change. For online customers, Boston will provide support in contingency situations in which they must revert to offline processing.

For more information on the conversion, call Jerry McGunnigle at (314) 444-8732.

Fed Updates Mississippi Delta Resource Directory

The St. Louis Fed's Community Affairs Department has revised portions of its profile on the Lower Mississippi Delta region. Included are updated descriptions of many organizations and programs in Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. The revised directory is designed to help financial institutions meet the investment and development needs of their communities.

For a copy, or to request additional copies, call Diana Zahner at (314) 444-8761.