Published by Credit Union Times on April 11, 2014

By Andrew Tilbury

The majority of credit unions have fully embraced electronic cash letter processing by installing scanners in the back office of their branches. They capture items electronically using what the industry today calls “branch capture.”

Today, the question on the minds of credit union executives is, “What are the opportunities to extract more value from my existing image-based item processing solution?” As a result, credit unions are looking to additional capture points, especially at the teller line, at the ATM, and with the smartphone. Expanding remote deposit capture capabilities will help to reduce transaction costs, improve service levels and boost employee productivity.

Teller capture is the primary focus for credit unions that are investing in new branch technology in 2014. Fraud reduction and shorter processing times intrinsic to teller capture mean that both employee productivity and member service improve.

However, not all teller capture solutions are created equal. Superficially, they provide similar features, but subtle differences in functionality can dramatically impact your total cost of ownership for these solutions. Even more important, these subtle differences can significantly impact member service levels at your credit union.

Below are four key features you should consider before investing in a teller capture solution.

Feature 1: Transaction Validation

Transaction validation automatically compares the check amount entered by the both teller and the amount read by the check scanner. Transaction validation provides a fail-safe against scanner misreads – which are common no matter what type of scanner is used – as well as human error.

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

As remote capture points continue to grow in popularity, duplicates will become increasingly difficult to manage, both at the point of presentment and in clearings. Most teller capture solution providers offer duplicate detection, but only at the teller line.

For instance, if a teller accidentally scans the same check twice, the software will notify the teller on the second scan that item has already been scanned. However, what happens when a member deposits a check remotely using their smartphone and later inadvertently brings the same check to a branch for deposit?

Only a sophisticated solution that aggregates and cross-references check images from all capture points will be able to notify the teller that a duplicate is being deposited in real time. 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