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The Green Sheet Online Edition

April 11, 2011 • Issue 11:04:01

Innovations in check scanners

By David Peterson

Editor's Note: This article was published by RemoteDepositCapture.com Feb. 8, 2011; reprinted with permission. RemoteDepositCapture.com. All rights reserved.

I was recently at the Jaguar Reseller meeting in Indianapolis, Ind. For those that might not be familiar with Jaguar, they are likely the best-kept secret in check imaging. They have a full suite of item processing, remittance, lockbox and remote deposit products.

They can provision remote capture on the desktop, through a web service and a mobile device, and give managers control over the deposits regardless of the mode of capture. They are an amazing company with smart, innovative leaders and loyal customers.

I was asked to make a presentation at this meeting on "Strategically Planning for the Future." I also listened in as several vendors made presentations. Here are a few items I feel are worth sharing:

  1. Panini wi:Deal Scanner: Based on the i:Deal check scanner, the wi:Deal (pronounced "why deal") allows for documents other than checks to be scanned. Most impressive is that the scanner can handle "thick" items such as an ID. Steve Creviston of CSoft (which sells and services scanner hardware) scanned his hotel keycard with the wi:Deal with no issues. Pretty cool!

    With the number of checks continuing to decline, it is important to seek applications that will go beyond traditional check capture and address the bigger issues facing small companies with respect to scanning and capturing documents of all types. This scanner will be released soon; I expect it to be popular.

  2. Canon P150 (Scantini): I fell in love with this scanner when I first saw it at the RemoteDepositCapture.com Summit last September. It is compact, would easily fit into a briefcase (or even a jacket pocket), and opens up to scan full-page documents as well as checks. No MICR read capability, but the quality of the OCR seems to be high.

    As more and more capture gets distributed to smaller and smaller volumes, scanners like the Scantini will continue to get a bigger market share.

  3. SEAC Orion with MICR Destruction: I was very impressed with the new option for the Orion scanner to render the MICR line unreadable after a successful scan. This is the first scanner that I feel specifically addresses issues related to Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council guidance.

    OK, I am not a big fan of the FFIEC guidance. I think it is misguided and has caused financial institutions (FIs) to slow the pace of merchant capture adoption, mainly due to an emphasis on risk that is not present in the RDC service.

    However, it is the official guide for examiners, and there are specific issues to which FIs should pay close attention. One is the security of source documents.

    What happens to checks after they are scanned at merchants? Thrown in the trash? Hopefully not, but no one debates that they are much less secure than if they were presented at the FI. The new feature of the SEAC Orion allows for physical destruction of the MICR information.

    When scanned, the check is held in the scanner. Once the software acknowledges successful image and MICR capture, the add-on module punches holes in the MICR line.

    This does two things: first it renders the information useless; you cannot see the data for what it is, satisfying the requirement to protect non-public information. Second, it renders the MICR line unusable; therefore if the item were to be presented at any FI (or through merchant capture), it would be rejected.

    This also addresses concerns over duplicates. The scanner works as a single feed for obvious reasons, so using this feature would be tedious in high volume situations. Nevertheless, I applaud SEAC for creating a product that is focused on the security features needed to address FFIEC guidance issues.

    Scanner manufacturers continue to innovate. As fewer checks enter the clearing system, volumes drop and, as such, demand for smaller, more nimble check scanners will dominate future RDC deployments. However, the need for scanning documents of all kinds will continue to be high.

    So expect more examples of combination scanners focused on checks and documents such as those I have documented above. These manufacturers have started thinking "outside the MICR lines." You should also. I'm just sayin'. end of article

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