Remote deposit capture Featured

8:00pm EDT October 28, 2006
When Bill Grodin calls customers to see if they’ve sent a payment, he may still hear, ‘The check is in the mail,’ but at least now he can make that call earlier than he did before.

“I had been using a lock box service” from Key Bank, says Grodin, president of 87-year-old River Recycling Industries Inc. “We were getting checks in the lock box and checks at our address. The information at the lock box would always get deposited that day, but I wouldn’t have the information as to who paid me. I wanted to resolve that issue so we can make our collection call on a more-timely basis.”

Grodin found his answer in a remote document capture system, which scans checks and then, through a broadband connection immediately deposits the money into the client’s account.

“Now the checks all come here,” Grodin says. “We’ve closed down the lock box. The minute the mailman arrives, we know who has paid us. It’s helped me in my collection efforts.”

Remote deposit capture has been available for about a year-and-a-half and has been one of the most quickly adopted value-adds ever offered by Key Bank, says Key’s Joe Cornelius, vice president, senior product manager, global treasury management.

“We rolled the product out in June of ’05,” Cornelius says. “This is probably the most popular product in the market. It’s created quite a buzz within the industry.”

Not only can clients check with customers about payments more quickly, they can also save hours a week in travel time to and from the bank. Grodin estimates his company receives more than 250 checks a month.

“One of the large costs that I saved is we don’t go to the bank anymore,” Grodin says. “The bank is 10 minutes from here. You have 20 minutes’ commute time. You have a minimum of five minutes at the bank. Maybe I’ve saved a half hour a day.”

The one down side is that the checks must be from the United States and drawn in U.S. dollars. Foreign check must still be delivered to the bank.

“They made it sound like it was going to be a little bit difficult and there would be a learning curve,” Grodin says. “It was probably a one-day learning curve. It was very simple. I wish they had had this years ago. This is one of the best innovations they’ve come up with. It’s similar to doing Internet banking in terms of its efficiency.”

Key’s Cornelius says there are five major benefits for customers.

  • Users can deposit checks from the convenience of their own offices.

  • Users save money by eliminating trips to the bank or courier fees.

  • Users improve cash flow because deposits at some banks can be made after the branch has closed and still credited to the account that day.

  • Some users see reduced banking fees because organizations with many locations that had several bank accounts now need only one.

  • Users can save on transfer fees with a concentration of funds into one account.

Depending on the bank and the service, remote deposit capture can cost anywhere from $50 to $150 per month and include renting or buying a scanner.

One of the nice things about the service, Cornelius says, is that it can benefit a company of any size.

“A lot of treasury services go to the big companies and then it trickles down,” he says. “This one, half our sales have been to middle-market companies, and about 20 percent to small business companies. It’s very successful in the range of the lower- and middle-market small business.”

HOW TO REACH: River Recycling Industries Inc. or (216) 459-2100; KeyCorp, (800) 539-2968