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Scanner Manufacturers Expand Lines to Meet Evolving Needs

Remote deposit capture (RDC) is revolutionizing the ways in which financial institutions and their customers handle checks. And that has device manufacturers rethinking strategies for addressing the changing needs of financial institutions and their customers.

“There’s still a huge market for scanners,” said Bill Buser, Director of Scanner Solutions at RDM Corporation. “But needs vary.” As do the machines these devices connect to (MACs as well as PCs and mobile devices), the operating systems that drive the machines, and the browsers that support web connectivity.

Networking with RDM

So RDM set out to develop a multi-functional scanner configurable with multiple back office and customer-facing applications across multiple platforms and workflows.

The result: the RDM EC9600i network scanner series is being rolled out this month. Available with auto-feed, single feed and 30dpm models, these multi-functional devices (added functionality includes receipting, franking, endorsing, and ID scanning) are intended to be browser and operating system agnostic and can be shared by multiple users on a single network. Think in terms of shared (networked) printers.

With the RDM EC9600i series, there’s no longer any need for manual API updates, Buser explained, “The intelligence is in the scanner.” Updates get sent via the web. Gone are the workarounds needed to accommodate specific operating system, browsers or end-user requirements, and the hardware upgrades necessitated by new market or regulatory demands.

“It’s designed with a lot of flexibility” Buser said. “Anybody in the company can use it. It’s not tied to any one technology or workflow.” Importantly, the new scanner has an IP address whether connected to a network or directly to a workstation via USB, “so you know where it is when it’s in use,” explained Buser. Likely initial applications include RDC in a corporate receivables environment, teller capture, check cashing and point of sale payments. In a small office, for example, a few users in close proximity of each other can easily share one device, Buser noted.

Digital Check Corporation Tackles Image Quality

RDM is not alone in seeking to bolster the value proposition delivered using remote capture solutions. Digital Check Corporation, for example, has been on a mission to minimize the costs and hassles of image exceptions in an RDC environment. “We’re focused on enhancing technologies we already have out there, and that our partners are already delivering,” said Jeff Hempker, Vice President for Marketing and North American Sales at Digital Check.

The latest result is Clear, a patent-pending technology that can be used to improve both the overall image quality and clarity of specific zones of a check, such as CAR and LAR fields. It can even store templates for repeat image “offenders,” such as money orders. “It’s a way for us to dip our toe into this sea of diversification. It allows us to show that we can bring incremental value beyond just capturing checks,” Hempker explained.

Accepting check images created by smartphones or using remote location scanners can save time and money (for banks and their clients). But as the process of capturing check images moves further outside the bank, the likelihood of exceptions increases. “It’s a problem that flies a bit below the radar,” said Hempker. It can be an expensive problem nonetheless.

In a recent white paper – Image Quality: The Quiet Problem that Costs Millions – Digital Check revealed that RDC items account for upwards of 25% of certain categories of errors.

Digital Check estimates that about 1 in 2,000 items has critical image quality errors. Further, an informal survey conducted recently by the company revealed that labor costs associated with second-day research, combined with fees, adjustment costs, and the potential costs of transporting original papers document to be physically cleared, amounted to between $15 and $25 per rejected check.