ONTARIO, Calif. -- Check imaging at the ATM has moved significantly closer to reality.
CO-OP Financial Services has announced that, for the first time, checks imaged at a credit union's ATM are able to go entirely through the system electronically.
Up to this point, checks could be imaged at an ATM, but had to be collected and processed manually. Now for the first time, checks can be imaged at the ATM and transmitted, balanced and cleared as images. The California Center Credit Union has been beta-testing the process with CO-OP.
"The difficult part was integrating all the systems to capture, proof and clear those images," said Kathy Herziger, a vice president for CO-OP Financial Services. "This involves the ATM vendor, a consolidation piece, a validation piece and the image processor. So standards needed to be set, hardware and software certified, etc. The entire process of consolidating the image from the ATM and clearing through the image processor had never been done before."
The impact of the advance on the credit union that participated in the beta test, the $8 million California Center CU, headquartered in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., has been significant as well.
The CU has been using the beta version of the Check Imaging system in recent months and was involved with the first successful test of the full system a year ago.
"Our members have a higher confidence level in making deposits at our ATMs," said RaAnn Wood, CEO for CCCU. "They can see, line-by-line, what they have put into the machine and get printed confirmation with the image of their check right on the receipt. Additionally, our members picked up on the security features right away."
Wood estimated that deposits at the CCCU in-branch ATM have increased six-fold since implementing the system. And she has also seen a significant reduction in staff time spent on check deposits.
"Once the staff was trained on the system, it became very routine," said Wood. "From a research and tracking standpoint, it's very simple.
"Prior to the imaging system, a remote ATM had to be visited by staff daily to retrieve checks. That's been reduced to twice per month and has been the single largest benefit we've experienced. I can't imagine operating a remote ATM that is not image enabled." --firstname.lastname@example.org