Remote Deposit Capture A Natural Outgrowth of Other Imaging Solutions

With more check images clearing than paper checks at all financial institutions, credit unions are at the forefront of consumer image capture products.


Hanscom Federal Credit Union ($600M in Hanscom AFB, MA) has imaging on their mind. One of the early adopters of branch capture, Hanscom FCU now uses envelope-less imaging ATMs as teller replacement units in one branch. They are also currently in beta testing of a remote deposit capture service. Scott Post, SVP of Strategy and Delivery at Hanscom, views RDC as an "absolute necessity". By implementing this technology, the credit union will be able to extend and mature existing member relationships, and offer the service as an advantage over competition. Additionally, the credit union currently has a large number of deposits by mail and expects to lower costs with increased member usage.

Hanscom FCU has seen success in transitioning from branch capture to image-enabled ATMs, and now to implementing remote deposit capture. Many credit unions currently use branch capture to increase operational efficiency and reduce courier costs. Southwest Corporate Federal Credit Union indicated that transactions involving their branch and teller capture products increased to more than 5 million in November 2007 from 2.5 million in November 2006. In a recent American Banker article, the Federal Reserve was quoted as saying they had reached a "tipping point" in September when more check images were accepted for clearing than paper checks. By December, nearly 60% of the Fed's forward presentments were arriving as images.

Additionally, the Federal Reserve released their 2007 study of non-cash payments in early December. From 2003 to 2006, the number of checks paid fell by 7 billion, decreasing at an annual rate of 6.4%. Yet with nearly 33 billion checks written in 2006, Richard Oliver, EVP of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, said, "we expect checks to be around for some time…The results of our study underscore the ongoing importance of check electronification and other innovations that improve the efficiency of the U.S. payments system".

While commercial banks are focused on introducing image capture services to businesses, credit unions are focused on the members. All immediately available image capture solutions developed within the credit union industry are focused on consumers. While small or micro-businesses are able to use these services, they may find it time-consuming to scan more than a handful of checks using a typical flat-bed scanner.

Deciding to extend your imaging solution depends on many factors. A single SEG credit union may benefit from placing an imaging ATM or Kiosk in the lobby of their SEG's headquarters. A larger credit union that includes military personnel may see increased member retention and higher service marks if their members are able to deposit checks from anywhere with a simple flat-bed scanner.



March 17, 2008


  • Certainly an educated guess on trends would say that Remote Deposit Capture is something that will play into a credit union''s e-document strategy. If credit unions consider their e-document strategy as Hanscom FCU has done, determining that the objective is to reach a maturity in its member relations, credit unions will begin to unlock the power of a solid e-document strategy. C21 is only one piece in that strategy, although important and significant. I''d love to hear more about how Hanscom is dealing with the RDC risk assessments for both ATM and Remote Capture with its members. The industry is under educated in this aspect of their business. Let''s face it, CU''s are new to the world of item processing, as Corporate CU''s have done their item processing for years. Very few have enough education and knowledge to know there are benefits and risks with processing.
    Bret Weekes