Checks are not obsolete

Upcycling Teller/Front Counter Capture

Put a spin on the branch experience

Originally published in part in the September edition of Western Independent Banker

Branch design is evolving quickly. You may be planning or already offer multiple self-service and assisted-service technologies, from pods to roving lobby staff to interactive teller machines (ITMs).

But is teller/front counter check capture on your list of enhancements to the customer experience? Or do you assume that checks will soon be obsolete, so investing in sophisticated capture technology has a limited lifecycle horizon or limited benefits?

Checks are not obsolete, however, and there’s plenty of evidence that says so. For one thing, even though most customers have multiple deposit options, almost all of them still visit branches. A quarter of these visits include check deposits. Furthermore, the long, slow decline in check volumes has now plateaued—and business check deposits are even rising slightly. Not surprisingly, the average dollar value per check is up, and since checks remain the leading source of fraud, the risk of losses due to fraud is also a persistent concern.

So is investing in teller/front counter capture technology worthwhile? Yes, and the ROI will be much quicker than you think. This is particularly true for community to regional-sized institutions with legacy—or no—teller/front counter capture. The real question is how to implement or revamp your capture solution to be the most cost-efficient, customer-pleasing, and risk-avoiding--whatever your branch strategy looks like.

Here’s a sampling of the cost-benefits and best practices covered in the white paper:

  1. Give your brick and mortar branches an omni-channel flair, by integrating the technology used for capturing checks at the front counter with other channels. Check capture technology flexible enough to function seamlessly everywhere, gives customers a single, familiar experience and keeps them close. They can start a transaction in the lobby or at an ATM, for example, and transition to a teller without barriers and hurdles. This does more than simply impressing your customers, it offers enterprise-wide synergies that have hard cost advantages.
  2. You’ll maximize the payoff from implementing customer-facing technologies if you streamline the way your existing channels fit into the mix. Today’s sophisticated systems can drastically reduce errors and overtime, and with them, Day 1 and/or Day 2 processing costs. And in turn, capturing savings in-branch yields more resources to allocate to high-demand channel developments.
  3. In addition, current capture technology can detect duplicate or counterfeit checks immediately, whether the potentially-fraudulent check is coming in the front door, from a smartphone, or via the home banking portal. Real-time fraud prevention, which is only possible with advanced cross-channel technology, can catch customer errors and save embarrassment, or allow you to catch actual fraud in time for quick action.
  4. Current capture solutions that work with other systems, technologies and providers can ensure a perfect fit within your institution, regardless of your core processor, scanning equipment mix, service providers, and other systems. Check capture technology can and should give you the flexibility to support a wide variety of deployment scenarios. Decoupling technology decisions allows you to individually evaluate the cost and benefits of each—and simultaneously ensure a seamless work experience for end-users today, while future-guarding incremental technology changes across the stack.

Teller/front counter capture is a relevant and highly-timely technology to be considered for its potential return on investment. When implementing or updating your technology, identify capture solution features that yield the greatest total lifecycle benefits: streamlining workflows, eliminating errors before checks enter the stream, cutting employee overtime, dramatically reducing downstream Day1/Day2 adjustments, detecting and preventing both dollar losses and reputational setbacks due to fraud, and boosting customer satisfaction. Ultimately, a smart decision about check capture can help you achieve your customer experience and competitive goals.

Investing in Teller/Front Counter Capture White Paper