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DAYTON, Ohio – Ask Dave Youngerman how many credit unions are using his company’s desk-top check scanner and he can only shrug and smile. That’s because Panini North America sold more than 40,000 of the My Vision X check-imaging devices last year, frequently through value-added reseller agreements with Unisys, Open Solutions, Bluepoint Solutions and other vendors who integrate the machine with their software. Based in Turin, Italy, Panini began its U.S. operation in 1995 and offers scalable check-capture solutions for such varied areas as teller capture, back counter, corporate capture, cash vault, microfilm replacement and remittance processing. Youngerman, president of Panini’s Dayton-based U.S. subsidiary, says the company’s prime focus now is its My Vision X, a compact scanner that reads the MICR line and captures a digital image of the front and back of the check. Youngerman credits the device’s small footprint, sleek design and high image quality for driving its success in the U.S. marketplace. He also notes the availability of 30-, 60- and 90-document-per-minute devices, depending on the volume the branch or back office handles. Eight of the top 25 U.S. banks are now using the device, Youngerman says, and the company now has its eye on further penetrating the credit union market with the recent addition of Harland Financial Solutions to its lineup of resellers. “Partnering with Harland should be big,” Youngerman says. “We’ve been working with them in a couple different ways, with both their EZ Teller and Encore! Teller solutions. We can interface with either.” That ubiquity also was evident at the recent BAI Retail Delivery Conference and Expo in Orlando, where 19 different booths were using My Vision X check-imaging devices. There, Panini also announced the availability of enhanced graphic printer capability. And with no shortage of competitors on the market, Youngerman also likes to cite what he says is another “real-world” differentiator. “Ours can handle staples,” he says. “Certainly we recommend you remove them, but hey, this is the real world and you need to be able to handle that.” He also says it’s the first such scanner to offer receipt printing, further helping it gain quick traction as the Check 21 imaging boom got under way. Check 21, of course, provided new impetus for Harland and other teller-software vendors to offer image readers. Digital check imaging, made possible by Check 21 legislation, allows financial institutions to electronically capture items presented for payment at the teller line, which could result in significant cost savings by reducing the amount of staff and equipment needed to process paper checks, the Atlanta-based company says. “We believe our partnership with Panini North America provides numerous benefits to our clients, who will realize increased operational efficiency, workflow improvement at the teller line, improved balancing and earlier fraud detection enable by branch-image capture,” says Tom Richards, executive vice president and general manager of retail solutions. Youngerman says banks, especially the larger ones, were the first adopters of his company’s gear but that he plans to continue seeking new entre into the credit union market, including seeking certification agreements with CUNA and NAFCU. He also says he hasn’t noticed much difference between working with banks and credit unions as far as his company’s hardware is concerned. “The applications really don’t change that much,” he says. As for whether the new Harland deal will generate new traction for his firm in credit union land, Youngerman says, “We think so. I guess we’ll know better this time next year.” -

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