The speed at which deposit capture tools have evolved since Check 21 legislation was enacted in 2004 has been dizzying. In five short years, we've seen branch capture, merchant capture, ATM capture ... and now teller capture. The latter is quickly proving to be beyond compare, especially when matched against its closest competitor, branch capture.
Sure, branch capture was great when it was the only game in town. Items were no longer sent via physical courier delivery but rather server-to-server, so there was no float.
But branch capture did not eliminate the need to batch, and that's where errors can occur. A batch may not be balanced immediately and changes that affect those batches may not be known until a teller has gone home for the day. Often items are scanned incorrectly or piggybacked one behind another, creating "day two" adjustments which generate more work for the institution.
There aren't "day two" adjustments in teller capture. The integrity of the transactions remains intact because the teller isn't stockpiling them until there's an opportunity to get to the branch's single scanner. Instead, each teller has a scanner, and each transaction is scanned and verified while the member is still at the window so errors can be corrected immediately. Recognition technology will help the teller determine if there is a signature or date and will also read the courtesy and legal amounts. Upon capture, the entire MICR line will be read and populated into the core application. The teller needs to take no further action if all fields have been read correctly.
In addition to reducing keystrokes and eliminating "day two" adjustments, teller capture also:
- Reduces human errors.
- Captures both front and back images.
- Makes images/transactions available for immediate research.
- Conducts an image quality analysis, including verification of MICR, CAR/LAR and signature presence.
- Matches routing numbers against the core to assign perfect float.
- Helps detect fraud by presenting transit items to a national database and sending a suspect message to the core.
- Works in real time — X9.37 files can be created as many times per day as necessary to take advantage of intra-day clearing.
- Saves time — because tellers don't have to capture checks in a batch at day's end, they can balance their cash drawers much more quickly.
- Saves money — no more overtime for staff to balance transactions at the end of the day, and no need to add staff to deal with "day two" adjustments.
Credit unions that have yet to implement a capture solution would do well to bypass branch and invest in teller capture.
Deborah Katz is vice president of corporate marketing for Open Solutions Inc., a leading provider of integrated enabling technologies for financial service providers worldwide. Open Solutions offers the tMagic™ Teller Capture solution. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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