New technology allows businesses to save a trip to the bank

Wednesday, December 21st 2005, 10:43 am
By: News On 6

For a business, the daily bank drop can be a hassle, even dangerous. Now, there's a new technology that lets businesses deposit their customers' checks without ever leaving the office.

News on 6 reporter Steve Berg has more on Mid-First bank's Imanage system.

In her job in the accounting department at McElroy Manufacturing, Paula Fenix is responsible for getting the checks from customers organized and deposited, fast. "We need to get it into the bank as soon as possible so it's available to us, to make payroll or pay bills.” Until now she had to do it the obvious way, writing each check individually on a deposit slip and then someone had to physically drive it to the bank. But now there's a new way.

Martin Henry of MidFirst Bank showed the News on 6 how the Imanage system works from Paula's desk. "It talks over the Internet to the bank's secure website." He then feeds the customer's checks through a special reader. "The device images the check, scans it front and back." It also authenticates it electronically. And for Pam, no more handwriting deposit slips. "That's the huge time-saver is not having to physically write each check or note it on the deposit slip.” And no more worries about missing the 2 o'clock courier to the bank. "If I get another check after the deposit has already been made, we can go ahead and send it again."

For banks and businesses, it's the best of both worlds. They can accommodate the customer's preference for checks, but handle it as if it was a debit card. Ed Fariss: "The banks can't just get away from the paper-handling at their own whim, there's still customers that will process a lot of checks."

MidFirst Bank is the first Oklahoma-based bank to use this particular technology, although it was developed by an Oklahoma company called Advance Financial Solutions. They expect other banks will pick up on the idea.