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A Fresh Look At Front Counter Check Capture

New technologies can sustain efficiencies as checks keep hanging on.

Among the shiny technologies being dangled at credit unions and the many varieties of fraud risks is there a compelling case for investing in advanced check capture at the front counter/teller line in 2018?

Yes if you take omnichannel customer experience seriously and consider all the benefits of check capture integrated into the teller workflow.

Different factors make front counter check capture a sound investment in todays environment, compared to only a few years ago. But it remains true that if you evaluate the true, total life-cycle costs of adding or upgrading now, you may be surprised at the potential payoff.

The Changing Face of Check Deposits

Many banks and credit unions have already discovered the hard-cost savings from moving check capture to front counter speedier clearing, fewer errors and returns, fraud control. That said, not all institutions have moved check capture to the teller line, and a large proportion of the legacy systems in place are incapable of playing a role in an omnichannel strategy. This is particularly true for community and regional institutions.

But, valuable as this technology has been, dont diminishing check volumes seem to suggest diminishing returns for new or additional investment in this area? Not if you consider that the rate of consumer check decline has plateaued, while business checks grew slightly last year (Federal Reserve and AFP). Checks will be with us for some time to come certainly long enough to factor into a check capture ROI analysis.

What about the wave of branch closures year over year as digital banking reaches nearly full acceptance? Gartner Groups prediction that consumers will be using online and mobile channels for 85% of their banking by 2020 appears to be correct. And 2020 is right around the corner.

Like checks, however, branches are not going away within the planning horizon for a 2018 investment. The majority of all banking services are still offered only at branches. Further, a reported 84% of all consumers continue to use teller services, and over a quarter of all branch visits include check deposits.

Advanced Check Deposit Benefits Drive Life-Cycle Savings

A new resource is available for banks and credit unions that want to dig into the total life-cycle costs and savings from advanced check deposit solutions. A white paper from Alogent issued in late November 2017 includes a point-by-point update of a 2014 white paper, within the context of todays environment. (Request a copy of Investing in Teller-Front Counter Capture: An Updated Look at the True Cost of Ownership.)

Today, as in 2014, the key to evaluating an investment in the year to come is to include the true, lifecycle costs. And the six capabilities that hold the key to determining these costs have all been impacted by recent developments:

  1. Transaction validation, which provides a fail-safe against scanner and human errors, now benefits from tight integration with all deposits. The costs of error and fraud detection, prevention, and remediation must be considered.
  2. Cross-channel duplicate detection has changed with the growth of remote and mobile deposits. Check capture is an essential component of your larger an omnichannel strategy.
  3. Scanner support requirements have changed as technology has made it efficient for tellers to take on capture, correction, and balancing, while acting as highly valuable customer engagement agents. Labor and opportunity costs are part of the analysis.
  4. System reliability has been transformed by shifts from thick- to thin-clients, reducing costs while boosting service standards. Both implementation and ongoing support requirements are affected.
  5. Portability allows todays capture solutions to independently adapt to user-generated or pre-built interfaces.
  6. Flexibility to work with processing partners has always been an asset, and todays solutions offer flexibility in how data flows from the capture solution(s) in place to downstream processing.

Within the context of todays banking environment, there may never be a better time than 2018 to invest in an advanced front office check capture solution. As you plan your resource allocations, take a fresh look at all the costs and savings.

About Alogent

Alogent provides proven, end-to-end payment processing, content management, and digital banking technologies to financial institutions, currently including over 2,300 credit unions, community and regional banks, and some of the largest national and international institutions. Our solutions are versatile, scalable, user-friendly, and exceptionally stable. Because of our relentless focus on innovation, our clients consistently exceed their productivity, financial, and customer experience goals. Learn more about Alogent at www.alogent.com.

This article is sponsored by a recognized solutions provider in the credit union industry. Callahan & Associates does not endorse vendors or the solutions they offer, and the views and opinions offered here might not reflect those of Callahan. If you are interested in contributing an article on CreditUnions.com, please contact the Callahan team at ads@creditunions.com or 1-800-446-7453.
December 11, 2017

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