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07 November 2011

Five tips for financial institutions launching deposit automation

Deposit automation has become one of the most common new financial transactions to be introduced at the self-service channel. FIs need to stay competitive, but they also need to look for significant cost savings. One way to accomplish this is by transferring more deposits to the ATM channel. In order to realize cost savings without negatively impacting customer satisfaction, it is important to consider the following five tips.

Centralized access to detailed information for effective exception management

Check and cash deposit-taking devices are complex with numerous points susceptible to failure, such as in-feed, escrow, return-feed and power fails. FIs need the low level details to rapidly and remotely respond to exceptions and resolve claims—why did the deposit fail?; where did it fail?; what was the root cause?; etc.

The cost to a financial institution (both in dollars and in reputation) for a check or cash deposit that has jammed can be significant. Stakeholders need centralized desktop access to device details, customer behavior and transaction details.

Match host records and images

An important aspect of deposit automation is the ability to match host records with the appropriate images and flag images that may require investigation.

The switch is no longer the single point of record for the deposit. Transaction authorization typically still goes through the switch, while the "electronic envelope" and check images go to a consolidation server. A mismatch can be caused by any number of reasons and can result in a lengthy, costly and manual reconciliation process.

A solution to easily match host records with remote capture images is critical. FIs need to be confident that the solution ensures all images, transaction and customer details are transported accurately, securely and successfully, regardless of host authorization status, hardware vendor, line speed or back-end solution.

The self-service deposit experience should inspire confidence

A well-designed user interface will help to inspire confidence. A customer may have a single check to deposit, multiple checks and cash, or perhaps is visually challenged and using audio assistance. The user interface, device interaction and screen flow should adjust intelligently to present an optimum experience.

Because these are complex devices with multiple points of failure, effective error handling is arguably more important than with any other transaction. Situations that lead cardholders to believe there is a problem with the deposit will often result in a claim, and ultimately lead to a lack of trust and the likelihood that they will turn back to the branch for future deposits. Error messages must send the right message to the customer and promote a sense of confidence.

Multi-vendor amount recognition and image quality analysis

Hardware vendors each have their own unique solutions for check verification, image quality analysis and amount recognition. This can mean varying results and performance across vendors, along with the added complexity of managing and supporting multiple software solutions.

A check that is accepted on one platform may be rejected on another. The complexities of getting that right balance of validating the check versus rejecting too many checks can be daunting—especially when dealing with different software solutions.

A solution that can be configured to meet your specific business rules, maximize acceptance rates, and increase customer confidence on all hardware platforms is a key requirement.

Platform independence and flexibility

The major ATM hardware vendors all support deposit automation; however, check and cash acceptors differ significantly from vendor to vendor.

Even if your initial strategy is to deploy a single hardware model across your estate, evolving device capabilities and new models released from the hardware vendors—combined with the very real potential for mergers and acquisitions—drive the need for a strategy to support rapid deployment on multiple hardware platforms and models with different configurations and capabilities.

The cost of managing multiple application versions can defeat the benefits.


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