Nationwide has outsourced its cheque processing to Unisys, in a bid to cut costs and free staff time.

The building society, which is the world’s largest with over 13 million customers, is making the move as part of a seven-year business process outsourcing deal it signed with Unisys in December 2007.

The function was migrated two months ago, and is covered under contract until 2015. Nationwide said that as a result it has simplified its business and allowed its operational staff to focus on “core” activities.

As part of the transition, Nationwide has also established a cheque archive online, which will help staff refer to payments made and fight fraud.

David Rigney, operations director, said the move will allow the building society “to improve our operational efficiencies and to re-invest the savings we make into other areas of our business”.

Nationwide is currently undergoing a £300 million business transformation programme, under which it is moving to SAP service oriented architecture technology to improve business processes. In the programme, called Voyager, it is working with IBM, Capgemini and KPMG.

The building society is also running a voice and data convergence programme, under a £160 million, seven-year managed services agreement with BT.

Last September, when it announced a merger with the Cheshire Building Society and Derbyshire Building Society, it said it had no plans rip and replace legacy systems.

Related articles:

Nationwide picks SAP for £300m SOA-based systems renewal