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by Craig Donner

The Depository Trust Company (DTC) has begun work on a comprehensive redesign of its Settlement Services web page to create a centralized platform that will consolidate key settlement activity onto a single customizable page.

Known as the Settlement Dashboard, the new service will replace the existing PBS Settlement Services page with a simpler, more intuitive interface that will feature improved navigation for all settlement services, expanded spreadsheet upload and download capabilities and Web 2.0 innovations like alert subscriptions, proactive notification of business events and on-demand inquiry reporting.

The Java-based, multi-layered page, which is scheduled to launch in 4Q2010, will become the new Settlement home page.

‘One-click access’

“We performed a top-to-bottom review of the Settlement Services interface with the goal of making the system more efficient by centralizing data and giving users one-click access to the information they need,” said Susan Cosgrove, DTCC managing director, Clearance and Settlement/Equities. “Instead of requiring users to navigate numerous pages to collect data or regularly log onto the system to check for updates, we leveraged existing technology to deliver information directly to the Dashboard based on each person’s customized settings. These features will enhance productivity for our customers by reducing the amount of time users have to spend on the system accessing their settlement data.”

The dashboard unveiled

The top of the Dashboard will feature a navigation bar with tabs for quick-and-easy access to the major settlement functions, including activity, position, settlement balances and transaction submission, as well as other commands. Just below the navigation bar will be the heart of the Dashboard – four equally sized quadrants containing customizable data.

  • Settlement Events. This quadrant will contain the real-time status of regularly scheduled processing milestones that are associated with a given settlement cycle, including the valued recycle cutoff and the release of controls. The user will have the ability to choose from a full list of events for display on his or her personal dashboard, and the Event notifications will support links directly into an inquiry to provide one-click access to data.
  • Alerts. In this quadrant, users will have the option to select different alerts they want to be notified of when an unscheduled business event occurs, such as when the firm approaches 90% of its debit cap, receipt of a specific delivery, or the availability of Settlement Progress Payments (SPP) and Principal and Income (P&I) for withdrawal. DTCC has also added interactive features to the Dashboard, including charts and graphs that correspond to the data on the screen when a user mouses over specific items.
  • On-Demand Reporting. This quadrant will enable users to set up and save the attributes for individual inquiries directly to their Dashboard for future use – and create a “canned” download that can be re-run at any given time with a single click of the mouse. In addition, users will have the ability to schedule reports to run at a defined time and appear as an alert once they are complete.
  • Information Center. This quadrant will display links to DTCC Important Notices and Settlement user guides.

      “The four quadrants will give users a comprehensive picture of their firm’s settlement activity and will serve as a single entry point for managing the settlement process,” said Julie Krill, DTCC director, Settlement Product Management. “From each quadrant, a user can simply click on a particular item to gain more detailed information – without having to jump between screens or continually reset search attributes.”

      Enhanced searching

      One of the most anticipated features of the Dashboard is a new search function that will allow users to perform inquiries into settlement activity, deliver orders, pledges and payment orders. The results will be displayed in a customized and sortable data grid or downloadable into an Excel spreadsheet.

      Users will also be able to sort on any column in the data grid as well as set filters for each column to drill down for more granular data or to find the proverbial needle in a haystack – such as a specific account number in the comments field of a deliver order amid hundreds of similar transactions.

      “Under the legacy system, users had to set the parameters of their search each time they ran the inquiry,” said Daniel Conlon, DTCC vice president, Settlement IT. “The Dashboard allows them to save their queries and, with just a few keystrokes, perform new searches as often as necessary. The grid also provides a flexible framework for the upcoming migration of all settlement-related inquiries. As a result, users will get all the functionality, downloads, saved and scheduled queries, sortable and filterable columns in all future product rollouts.” @