The ATM channel is central to improving the consumer banking experience. Not only does the ATM channel provide ample opportunity to reduce costs and increase efficiencies at the branch, it also allows Financial Institutions (FIs) to drive value-added solutions and services through the use of technology. As Branch Transformation continues to evolve, and new technologies hit the market every day, it’s difficult to know what solutions make the most sense for your FI. By leveraging technology that capitalizes on the ever changing preferences of the consumer, you can position your institution ahead of the rest. One trend gaining traction in today’s banking environment is deposit automation, or check-imaging. Make sure you’re familiar with the concept when considering your FI’s next move!
What is Deposit Automation?
As more people adapt to non-traditional methods of banking, deposit automation offers a convenient, efficient, and modernized addition to the self-service channel. Deposit automation permits users to scan and process checks electronically, without the help of a teller inside the branch, via an image-enabled or “intelligent” ATM. At a high-level, deposit automation enables a customer to make a deposit without using an envelope. The FI can then validate and balance the deposit integrity at the time of the transaction, immediately give credit to the customer, and route the images to the clearing network. The only human intervention occurs when the depository is full, and needs to be emptied.
When considering the implementation of an image-enabled ATM, it’s important to evaluate consumer preferences. The number of deposits being made at the teller line is decreasing significantly. Driven by investments in technology, cuts in teller staff, and changing payment patterns, consumers are using alternate channels for convenience. A recent survey comparing deposit preferences found that in 2006, 70% of consumers preferred making deposits with a teller inside the branch. In 2012, that figure dropped to 54%. As of 2014, the number had plummeted even further to 35%, representing a 50% reduction in preference for live tellers in only eight years. These figures speak volumes as to how rapidly changes in consumer behavior occur. Although consumers are increasingly willing to perform banking transactions without the help of a teller, there is one thing they refuse to let go… their checkbook.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank, between 2003 and 2012, checks decreased by half, from 36 billion to 18 billion, with the rate never wavering much from about 2 billion per year. A banking and personal finance site, GoBankingRates.com, has also been looking into the shift in check usage throughout the U.S. Despite the obvious decline in check presence and usage, one of the most surprising findings from their study was that every single respondent in the $150,000+ per year income bracket stated they wrote several checks each month. With all the alternatives, why would anyone still write a check? Debit card fraud and convenience are two explanations. Regardless of why consumers are still using checks, the numbers prove that checks are here to stay, at least for now! Deposit automation allows the support to be there, while providing various benefits to customers and their FIs.
Capitalize on Increased Teller Face Time: A growing number of tech-savvy consumers are now comfortable performing banking transactions that fall outside of the traditional brick-and-mortal branch model. Self-service banking has become increasingly popular. Deposit automation allows the migration of transactions from teller to self-service. As more and more self-service technologies drive customers out of the branch, traditional teller tasks (such as counting cash and processing transactions) no longer act as the primary focus. There is now more time for tellers to put efforts toward strengthening customer relationships, and promoting higher-value products and services.
24/7 Availability: Deposit automation allows customers to make deposits at any time of day, 24/7, via the ATM. This is a huge advantage for customers who work or are unavailable during normal business hours. An additional benefit is that customers gain full access to their money immediately upon making their deposit, thanks to the passage of Check 21. It also speeds up the delivery and exchange of check images, thus speeding up the clearance process. Although consumers may not be coming inside the branch to deposit their cash or checks as much as they used to, transactions can still occur outside of the branch at all hours of the day.
Reduction in Fraud: Empty-envelope fraud is perpetrated by accountholders (or those posing as accountholders) who deposit envelopes that are either completely empty, or hold deposits of cash/checks for amounts that are less than what they have keyed in at the ATM. Deposit automation reduces, and in most cases, eliminates empty-envelope fraud, because envelopes are not required for these deposit transactions. Since deposits are imaged and verified in real-time at the ATM, fraud is identified much faster. If damaged or suspicious deposits are made, they are not accepted until the bank or credit union has time to give them a closer review. Through the use of deposit automation, fraud at the ATM is dramatically reduced.
Cost Savings: As branch transactions decline at a rate of 8-12% year over year, the cost of transaction processing continues to increase. On average, it costs $4.00 to process a transaction via teller, versus $0.50 per transaction at an ATM. It is approximately eight times more expensive to process a teller transaction than to process a deposit automation transaction! Consider the ROI… if you’re branch had 1,000 transactions in a given month, deposit automation could save you $3,500 per month, or $42,000 a year!
NuSource Recommends Hyosung’s 7600i:
When it comes to deposit automation, NuSource recommends Hyosung’s 7600i. This multi-functional ATM provides maximum reliability, security, and convenience, and is easy to deploy/highly reliable. The 7600i features a single deposit module known as CCIM, which allows for mixed, multiple check and cash deposits to be made. Cash and checks can be inserted at the same time, without having to do separate deposits, creating an extra layer of convenience for customers. The 7600i also provides many unique features, including a tilting touch screen that creates a remarkable user experience from start to finish. To learn more about the 7600i, click here!
According to the Global ATM Market and Forecasts to 2020 report, nearly a third (31 percent) of ATMs worldwide include automated deposit functionality. With over 1 million automated deposit ATMs around the world, where does your FI stand?