The Green Sheet Online Edition
April 13, 2009 • Issue 09:04:01
A most literate check reader
As the use of virtual checks continues to proliferate, digital image readers are themselves undergoing more quality analysis. Image analysis technology company Parascript LLC has as one of its central missions making digital check readers that are as precise as possible.
"Our [check reading] product has been evolving for years, starting from just minimal functionality ... to expanding the functionality of the product to the point it was able to read nearly all the fields on the check," said Tatyana Vazioulina, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Parascript.
Ten percent higher read rate
The company's newest rollout is a check reader called CheckUltra, and its manufacturers said it has a recognition rate that is 10 percent higher than standard readers; they claim that improvement gives the product, on average, about an 80 to 90 percent "read rate," which means fewer checks to scrutinize.
"We're saying that whatever product you have, using our product, CheckUltra, the [recognition rate] can be improved by ten points," said Yuri Prizemin, Director of Product Marketing, Parascript.
CheckUltra, released in February 2009, comes on the heels of CheckPlus, another touted image reader from Parascript.
The difference, according to the company, is that while CheckPlus was designed for a wide range of applications, CheckUltra homes in on a select few - paid on delivery, remittance and remote deposit capture - with extreme attention to detail.
"To continue developing CheckPlus and achieve high results with courtesy and legal amount recognition was nearly impossible because the product became too bulky," Vazioulina said.
"So we decided to go in a different direction with it, and invest in a new product based on new technology, new algorithms - it's absolutely different architecturally - and we came up with a new product which is focused on just a few applications ... which are pretty demanding applications right now and require more and more accuracy," he added.
According to Vazioulina, CheckUltra is designed with "multiple algorithmic approaches" that provide different ways of scanning the document in order to pick up on a range of possible flaws.
"It may be compared to different experts who are looking at the image and making different conclusions about what is written on it," she said.
Prizemin said any number of things can go wrong with a check, from missing information to sloppy writing to poor quality of the document itself. And while he said that word of a bad check could take any length of time to get back to a merchant (depending on the processor it runs through), he added that "our application makes the information available right away."
"If it's deemed unreadable, then it's flagged, and then the check processor will decide what to do with it," he said. "When that happens, it's not pleasant for anybody."
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