Teller vs. Branch Capture: A Question of Where to Capture the Image
o Credit unions may find themselves choosing between back-office and teller check capture.
o Some industry participants say the shift is to the teller option, others say they haven't seen it.
Institutions can find themselves facing two options: capture the images and truncate them by the batch in the back shop at the branch or a centralized location, or capture them at the teller line as the transaction is occurring.
Those who are worried about slowing down the action at the window, where tellers might better spend their time providing personal service rather than scanning checks, prefer the back shop option, and that's where most credit unions are now in the Check 21 process.
As for concerns about slowing down service at the front line, ProfitStars said its research found that the opposite has occurred, as the scanners eliminate time-consuming keystrokes and data entry, allowing for more teller cross-selling and member service.
A competitor agrees. "What our institutions are telling us is that [teller check capture] lets their tellers operate in more of a heads-up environment," said Sue Pinsonneault, retail delivery product manager for Open Solutions in Glastonbury, Conn. "And we're not just talking about checks here. Any document that comes across the teller line can go into the scanner, be read and populate a transaction screen. If something's missing or can't be read, that automatically pops up on a screen."
Advances in fraud detection also have helped convince one well-known technologist in the credit union industry that teller capture is the way to go.
"From a member service point of view the original thought was to do it in a branch format to free up teller time and allow your front line to focus on giving great service," said James Burke-Frazier at Wescom Resources Group in Pasadena, Calif. "I used to agree with this, until I've seen some of the amazing processes related to real-time submittal of the check to Primary Payment Systems looking for fraud.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Although the end result is essentially the same, there are some distinct differences between capturing a check image at the teller counter and capturing it in the back shop. Here are some characteristics of each channel, according to Jon Reneslacis, director of solutions engineering at VSoft Corp.