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Washington Mutual Teams with Unisys to Capture Check Images in Financial Center Stores

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 19, 2002--

Washington Mutual Selects Unisys Corporation for Business Process

Outsourcing Agreement to Manage Image-Based Check Processing

In a move that's likely to "capture" the interest of financial institutions nationwide, Washington Mutual and Unisys today announced plans to capture images of checks and transaction tickets in Washington Mutual's financial center stores, rather than at an off-site facility, making Washington Mutual the first top-10 financial institution in the country to do so.

Unisys will host and manage this new check processing operation for Washington Mutual under a seven-year business process outsourcing agreement. This use of image-based technology solutions for complete end-to-end payment operations is in the forefront of the industry.

When fully implemented, "branch image capture" will mean fewer handoffs during check processing at Washington Mutual -- and therefore lower costs -- and same-day access to check images for employees, which will help prevent fraud.

As part of the agreement, branch image capture devices will be installed in each financial center store's back office. The check imaging devices will be piloted in the first half of 2003 and rolled into a production environment near year end.

Additionally, Unisys will create and staff regional processing centers across the United States to handle item processing for Washington Mutual. Washington Mutual currently has its check processing operations outsourced to another provider in a non-image environment.

Making this move now positions Washington Mutual to confront such industry issues as:

  • escalating unit costs of processing paper checks;

  • the shift to electronic transactions such as electronic bill presentation and payment;

  • and the impact of the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act, pending legislation to enhance the efficiency of the check system by allowing digital images in truncation, which can eliminate the need for a paper trail in check processing.

"Once the system is fully implemented, Washington Mutual will be able to provide image-based products and services such as access to check images for customers via the web and CDs for corporate cash management customers," said Armando Angelbello, senior vice president of Banking and Financial Services Bank Operations.

"Washington Mutual recognizes the need for financial institutions to consider new business models to address evolving technology and new regulations," said Dominick Cavuoto, president, Unisys Global Financial Services. "This agreement places Washington Mutual at the vanguard of these trends. It also positions Unisys to build on our success with similar operations worldwide and to expand our North American presence."

About Unisys:

Unisys Corporation (NYSE:UIS) is a worldwide information technology services and solutions company. Their people combine expertise in systems integration, outsourcing, infrastructure, server technology, and consulting with precision thinking and relentless execution to help clients in more than 100 countries quickly and efficiently achieve competitive advantage. For more information, visit www.unisys.com.

About Washington Mutual:

With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM) is a national financial services company that provides a diversified line of products and services to consumers and small- to mid-sized businesses. At September 30, 2002, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had consolidated assets of $262.61 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates more than 2,500 consumer banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking, consumer finance and financial services offices throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's press releases are available at www.wamu.com.

Forward-Looking Statements:

Any statements contained in this release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All forward-looking statements rely on assumptions and are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. Additional discussion of factors that could affect Unisys future results is contained in its periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

--30--APG/se* SAM/se

CONTACT: Washington Mutual
Bruce Reilly, 206/461-8701
Unisys Corporation
Susan Beck, 215/986-6036