The History of Check Scanning
In the late 20th century, financial institutions started wondering if there was a faster way to process checks. Burroughs, a computing firm that rose to prominence in the 1960s and 70s, offered a solution. The company developed a technology capable of reading over 1,500 checks per minute, drastically cutting the time businesses spent processing payments.
Other tech companies took notice of Burroughs’ success and quickly got to work creating similar check-reading systems, and thus the era of check scanning was born. But it wasn’t until decades later that this type of payment processing method was officially legitimized in the eyes of the wider public.
Check scanning was finally legalized in the United States in the early 21st century with the 2004 Check 21 Act. This act was intended to grant financial institutions greater flexibility in how they handled transactions and deposits. The finance sector had been looking for ways to keep banks afloat in the event of a catastrophe, and check scanning allowed them to process payments without having to physically transfer checks back and forth—a procedure that could have been interrupted in the event of a catastrophe.
The Growth of Check Scanning
In fact, 9/11 played a big role in the rise of check scanning and the passing of the Check 21 Act, as it forced banks to look for alternative solutions to check processing that could be deployed in case a major disaster somehow halted physical travel between banks. Over the course of the decade, check scanning grew in popularity, with more and more users choosing to scan and upload their checks rather than take them directly to the bank. This provided an easy, convenient method for payment processing.
In 2009, USAA became the first bank to allow users to deposit checks via their smartphones. By snapping photos of their checks and uploading them online, users were able to quickly get their checks processed without having to deal with the hassle of driving to the bank and depositing them. Today, remote deposit capturing (RDC) remains a widely-used tool for scanning checks remotely.
In addition to speeding up the payment process, check scanning and RDC has proven beneficial to the environment, as it’s eliminated much of the paperwork associated with traditional check-reading. Although some have raised concerns about security issues, the pros of check scanning have largely outweighed the cons. For a closer look at how RDC can save businesses time and resources, check out this TekTalk by Teksetra.
But how should companies go about choosing a check scanner for their business operations, and what are some things to keep in mind before proceeding with this payment processing method?
How to Get Started With Check Scanning and Remote Deposit
If you’ve spent your whole life depositing checks the traditional way, remote deposit capture can seem confusing, but it’s important to familiarize yourself with this technology, as more financial institutions are integrating check scanning in order to stay competitive in the modern age. Before implementing an RDC system, Teksetra recommends that financial institutions flush out the general and regulatory processes, accounting for the following factors:
- Program management
- Risk assessment
- Customer screening
- Monitoring and reporting
- Scanner procurement
Then, institutions should find an appropriate software provider. It’s important to complete this step early on in the process, as your chosen provider will determine various other aspects of the RDC program you ultimately put in place. Pair your check scanning system with the corresponding software. Consult with your software provider to make sure everything is compatible—they should be able to assist you in choosing the correct software and hardware.
Businesses outside of the financial space should follow a similar process in getting started with check scanning and RDC. Speak to your bank, determine whether or not RDC is even offered through their institution, and if so, gather as much information as you can on scanner approval, maintenance, and support. You’ll also want to gain a thorough understanding of the installation process. If your business is unable to install the system independently, you may need to reach out to an installation partner with help getting started.
Check scanning has come a long way over the past several decades, simplifying the check-reading process for everyone involved, but getting started with an RDC program can prove challenging. Teksetra provides RDC risk assessment and implementation to help businesses and financial institutions get started with remote payment processing methods. Contact our team of experts today to learn more about how we can help you get started.
Choosing the Right RDC Check Scanner For Your Business
The first check scanners could only scan a handful of checks at a time, but as the technology improved, RDC systems expanded their capacity to be able to process hundreds (and then thousands) of checks per minute. Teksetra has compiled a list of some of the best check scanners currently available on the market. Here’s a quick look at the top picks:
Panini I: Deal
Speed: Up to 50 DPM
The Panini I: Deal was designed specifically for small businesses, making this scanner a user-friendly, cost-efficient option for companies that only need to scan a limited number of checks each day.
Epson CaptureOne TM-S100
Speed: 30, 60, and 90 DPM
Epson’s CaptureOne is another great option for smaller businesses. Equipped with the highest MICR accuracy in its class, this scanner delivers a steady stream of power and reliability in an affordable package.
Digital CheXpress CX30
Speed: 30 DPM
The Digital CheXpress CX30 features a bi-directional MICR reader for accurate data collection. And, because it utilizes less power than its competitors, the CheXpress CX30 is ideal for businesses wanting to reduce their carbon footprint.
Speed: 30 dpm
This scanner offers great deployment flexibility and a front-franking stamp. In addition, the Panini ml: Deal comes with MICR, duplex imaging, and auto-alignment capabilities.
Speed: 45 DPM
The Canon CR-L1 is best suited for mid-volume RDC systems. It provides multi-feed scanning, reliable document handling, and high-quality imaging at an affordable price.
Panini Vision X
Speed: 50 dpm
One of the standout features of the Panini Vision X is its quiet operation. These scanners can handle a variety of documents, including utility bills, and are also available refurbished.
Digital Check TellerScan TS240
Speed: 50-100 DPM
Known as a powerhouse check scanner, the TellerScan TS240 delivers a reliable, multi-feed scanning experience. It offers superior DPM capabilities and comes equipped with special enhancement software in order to produce clear images.
Speed: 100 and 160 DPM
This model targets common scanning barriers for optimal usability and productivity. Though it doesn’t come cheap, the EverneXt is packed with a number of features essential to any large-scale scanning system, including API-free, OS-agnostic integration to a variety of host devices.
Digital Check SmartSource Expert Elite
Speed: 55 and 150 DPM
The SmartSource Expert Elite scanner provides the flexibility to operate over a browser-based interface in just about every computing environment or OS. It also offers MICR/OCR reading, image cleanup, and formatting prior to images being passed to the workstation.
Check Scanning Today
What began as a localized method for scanning a couple of checks at a time has grown into a worldwide network of systems that continue to innovate upon existing RDC technology. Gone are the days of having to manually read and process each check that comes through the bank; no longer are businesses forced to rely on a stack of paperwork to process payments.
Check scanning technology has undoubtedly transformed the way financial institutions do business. However, these scanning systems are also now available for companies running smaller operations. Whatever the needs of your organization, there is an RDC system designed to fit your needs. Teksetra offers a number of check scanners and can help your business get started with implementing an RDC program. Contact us today to learn more about our services.