Considering teller capture? Three key features you need to address in an RFP

Published on CU Insight 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 and they are now beginning to look for opportunities to extract more value from their existing solutions. As a result, capturing images directly at the teller line using teller capture is a primary focus for institutions investing in new branch technology in 2014. 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, member service levels at your institution, and branch operations

Below are three key features you should include in an RFP before investing in a teller capture solution.

Feature 1:  Transaction Validation

Transaction Validation automatically compares the check amount entered by both the teller and the amount read by the check scanner. This provides a fail-safe against scanner misreads — which are common no matter what type of scanner is used — and human error.  If your institution 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. Day 2 corrections are substantially reduced when tellers manually enter the transaction amount and then the scanner validates that amount.

Feature 2: Cross-Channel Duplicate Detection

As remote capture points gain traction, duplicates will become increasingly difficult to manage, with both forward items and inclearings. 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 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 notify the teller in real time that a duplicate is being deposited. Eliminating duplicates at the teller line will reduce Day 2 adjustments and improve member service.  It also enables your credit union to add mobile deposit without exacerbating problems with duplicate items, assuming that you are using a central check archive.

Feature 3: System Reliability

System downtime is a serious consideration for any member-facing technology. Most teller capture solutions are dependent on core processor uptime. However, what happens when your core processor experiences an outage? Unfortunately, tellers cannot scan checks and they must process deposits manually. This frequently leads to delayed transactions, missed opportunities for fraud reduction, and long waits in the branch.  Operational costs skyrocket when work has to be entered after the core is restored, and members trying to make deposits are negatively impacted. Teller capture solutions should operate independently of the core to minimize service disruptions and maintain member service levels.

Not all teller capture providers are created equal. Dig into specific system functionality and fully understand the subtle differences to determine which solution offers the best match for your credit union’s needs.

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