BancTec unveils Image Sentry check inspection software
16 February 2004 | 1604 views | 0
The emergence of check image exchange and its requirement for reliable image quality and integrity may result in unprecedented levels of exposure for financial institutions that do not improve their image quality capabilities. To help financial institutions safeguard their image quality against these significant risks, BancTec, Inc., today announced the immediate availability of Image Sentry. This advanced software provides customers with flexible tools to effectively analyze images and identify quality deficiencies for repair or return. Image Sentry is the first of BancTec's portfolio of products designed specifically for the emerging check truncation and check image-exchange processing environment.
The anticipated growth of check image exchange and distributed check image capture is driving the need for financial institutions to properly plan and implement a strategy to optimize image and data availability and integrity. Due to issues ranging from the lack of industry image quality standards and the wide variation in image quality tolerance levels accepted by different institutions, to the potential consumer outcry over image clearing initiatives and the myriad sources of poor images in a distributed capture environment, the banking industry is beginning to recognize the increasing importance of high-quality images. And with financial institutions ultimately liable for defective or low quality check images, the stakes are even higher. All told, the financial exposure to U.S. banks may approach several billion dollars per year, estimates one industry consortium.
"As we enter the new era in check clearing, BancTec is committed to delivering the kind of technological leadership and service excellence that will help take financial services customers into the future," stated Malcolm Gurney, BancTec vice president of marketing, worldwide solutions. "Image Sentry will play a key role in helping our customers better manage and leverage the check images and information critical to their success in the emerging image exchange environment."
Image Sentry's sophisticated assessment, verification, correction, and management processes help ensure that financial institutions increase the reliability and integrity of their check images. Image Sentry inspects the front and back of each captured image, testing for inconsistencies, such as missing or folded corners; flawed edges; cut-off top edges; streaks; piggybacked images; excessively skewed documents; missing images; invalid document sizes; and images that are too dark or too light. Future enhancements also will perform usability tests on key check fields (such as the payee line and signature line), automatically determining the presence and legibility of necessary information. If an image passes all of Image Sentry's tests, it can be processed and used by downstream applications with a high degree of confidence. If anomalies are found, Image Sentry provides the opportunity to review and repair the document using a comprehensive set of image manipulation tools designed to eliminate costly back-end manual processes. By helping customers effectively manage check images, BancTec is helping users meet their availability and integrity needs for image exchange. Moreover, a wide range of back-office (Day Two) applications depends on high- quality check images, including exceptions handling, adjustments, returns and research, and check fraud detection. In accounts receivables conversion (ARC) environments, Image Sentry offers protection from unnecessary charge- backs for lockbox and remittance processors that choose to provide images to their bank of first deposit or participate in an image exchange program.
"Most financial institutions and payment processors are not aware of the extent and impact of defective images. Poor quality images delay presentment, clearing and settlement, increase float and research costs, and negatively impact customer service," stated John Black, Image Sentry product manager at BancTec. "Ensuring image quality and decreasing costs will be two of the most important requirements of financial institutions in the emerging check image exchange environment. Image Sentry provides the technology tools to help clients both plan and implement an effective image quality and usability solution for maximum protection."
Image Sentry features: interfaces with all leading image capture devices (including those from BancTec, IBM, Unisys, NCR, OPEX, Kodak, and IBML); compatibility with any image format (including the ANSI X9.37 image exchange format); the ability to simultaneously process multiple image formats, across multiple image capture devices and image archive applications; user-defined image and data quality audits and controls; tools for repairing image anomalies; intelligent channels to legacy systems; compliance with specific image interchange requirements; and support for remote image capture from any lockbox, branch, point-of-sale, or large-volume depositor. The software runs either as a standalone post-capture workstation, or as an embedded component of an existing application. It processes individual items, batches, or files of images in automatic, semiautomatic, or manual modes. Image Sentry will be available through BancTec direct channels, across all BancTec legacy applications, and through select business partners.