How Important Is Check Image Quality?

I guess it depends who you’re asking, but in the remittance processing world it plays a critical role in the optimization of your overall processing operation.  The check scanner you run should have a high quality camera that creates optical resolution images of 300 DPI (dots per inch).  Various transports have different features and tools that allow an improved read & image capture of the overall document, scanline, MICR line etc.

Most financial document scanners on the market today produced by manufacturers such as Opex, Canon, NCR, Burroughs, etc. incorporate quality imaging capability in their products.

So why is this important?

The quality of the images drives your remittance solution platform and ensures you meet various banking financial institutions Check 21 clearing requirements.

Your remittance software platform will absorb and “process” those images and create a more automated process of validating and verifying your customers payments utilizing the images sourced from your transport to update your host billing/CMS system.  This in turn should allow your operators to focus on more critical payments and issues.

Your remittance software solution expands your hardware investment. A check 21 validation feature should be built into the process to handle various financial institutions differing check 21 clearing policies. For example, image quality can vary from bank to bank.  We’ve experienced through our clients that image resolution must be set at 200 DPI, while we’ve had banks require 250 DPI.  An intertwined combination of your hardware capabilities and your software platform features create a validation process that ensures your image files meet your bank’s image quality threshold.

What is Check 21?

If you’re not yet familiar with electronically depositing your check payments through Check 21. It definitely is something to consider incorporating into your remittance processing operation.  The Check 21 Act was executed on October 28, 2004.  What this federal law allowed was more flexibility for financial institutions to accept deposits electronically.  Its benefits and popularity have not only grown in the corporate banking environment but the personal banking environment as well.  More than 85% of our client partners take advantage of the benefits of Check 21 clearing.

Check 21 has allowed many of our client partners the ability to:

  1. Reduce/eliminate collection float
  2. Receive decisions on payments faster (closed accounts, NSF’s, etc.)
  3. Extend their deposit deadline
  4. Eliminate or reduce traditional bank deposit associated costs
  5. Update their host billing/CMS systems

Image quality of your check/stub images is a key component to an effective and efficient payment processing operation.  The transport capabilities, the software, the ease of integration to your host billing/CMS system, deposits and reconciliation are all vital components to an optimal operation.

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Resources: FDIC Information on the Check 21 Act

References: “Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.”  FDIC: Check Clearing for the 21st Century (Check 21 Act).  N.p./ n.d. Web. 24 May 2017.