Calculating the true total cost of ownership is more complicated than it appears.

By Bluepoint Solutions

Originally published on CreditUnions.com on May 13, 2014

Credit unions are looking to teller capture for its ability to reduce check losses from return deposit items, improve member service, capture duplicate items in real time, and speed item processing times. As a substantial investment in a new technology, credit unions need to know the cost of the solution is more than just license costs, training, and support fees. There are several hidden costs to consider before making a product or vendor decision. Some of these costs are predictable and easy to define, such as the need to change a teller capture solution when a core processor changes. But others, such as the negative impact on employee productivity and member service during core downtimes, are nearly impossible to quantify. Operationally, however, they are still significant.

The following six key features of teller capture solutions will impact total cost of ownership over the life of the technology. By including these features in a teller capture RFP, credit unions will be able to better understand the financial investment they are making.

Feature 1: Transaction Validation

Transaction Validation automatically compares the check amount entered by the both teller and the amount read by the check scanner. If your credit union relies solely on either the scanner or the teller for validation, you open the door for trouble: Simple data entry errors cause a domino effect that includes posting errors and exception processing headaches that last long after the deposit has been processed. You can substantially reduce the volume of Day 2 corrections when the teller manually enters the transaction amount and then the scanner validates that amount.

Feature 2: Cross-Channel Duplicate Detection

Tellers should be notified when a duplicate is being deposited in real-time with a solution that aggregates and cross-references check images from all capture points. If you can eliminate duplicates at the teller line, you will reduce Day 2 adjustments and improve member service at the teller line.

Feature 3: Scanner Support

Ask your vendor which scanner brands and models it supports. You’ll lower costs if you can tailor scanner type based on employee role. Different employee roles will have different needs in terms of type, size, and capacity of scanners.

Feature 4: System Reliability

System downtime is a serious consideration for any member-facing technology as most teller capture solutions are dependent on core processor uptime. Select a teller capture solution that can operate independently of the core in order to minimize service disruptions and to maintain member service levels.

Feature 5: Portability

The majority of credit unions typically change core processors every seven years, which is a significant investment of time, energy, money and resources. Investing in a teller capture solution that can work with any core eliminates the need to repurchase existing technology and train employees on new systems. This reduces the total cost of ownership of the system.

Feature 6: Flexibility With Processing Partners

Similar to the benefits of system portability, the ability to use a teller capture solution in conjunction with third-party processors adds significant flexibility and can lower the lifetime cost of ownership. The ability to purchase a needed solution without adding unnecessary, redundant features lowers the total cost of ownership for the solution and eliminates the need to provide support for applications the credit union does not use.

Bluepoint’s latest whitepaper, “What is The True Cost of Teller Capture?” outlines several aspects that influence the total cost of ownership of a teller capture solution. These are variables credit unions should consider during a vendor evaluation or RFP process.