Magazine article American Banker

Corporate Clients Gripe about Bank Imaging Uptake

Magazine article American Banker

Corporate Clients Gripe about Bank Imaging Uptake

Article excerpt

ORLANDO -- Corporate customers are voicing frustration about banks' sluggish shift toward check imaging.

In a panel discussion Tuesday at the 2005 Bank Administration Institute TransPay conference here, several treasury management executives said that image-exchange systems and remote deposit services can and should make funds available sooner, but still are not.

Russ Augsburg, the director of cash and banking operations at Allstate Insurance Co., said he was disappointed by "the slowness of the industry adoption rate" and described his long-term vision of what image technology should mean for his business.

If the deposit "is in by 10 o'clock, it should be good money by 2 o'clock," Mr. Augsburg said. "I don't mean just a little improvement in float."

This conference is perhaps the first industrywide gathering for financial institutions to compare their image-exchange capabilities since the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act took effect last October, and Mr. Augsburg's comments drew nervous laughter from an audience composed mostly of bankers. As the banks' operations executives draw up their six-month report card for Check 21, their corporate clients seem to agree that progress has not met many people's expectations.

John D. "Denny" Carreker, the chairman and chief executive of Carreker Corp. and the panel's moderator, agreed that the use of imaging to clear and settle paper checks is "coming about slower than some of us thought, but it's still very profound." Carreker, of Dallas, makes software for image processing.

Two retailers on the panel said that their check volumes are dropping steadily, and while they are eager to use image systems that could improve their operations, they are not willing to invest much money or effort into them. They also said that with a high-turnover checkout staff, any new payment system must be easy to use. …

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