Defunct Hardware: The Best Thing That Could Happen to Your Business

Lockbox service offerings, including retail and wholesale, are integral to a bank’s fiscal strategy even in today’s changing market.  Newer banks or established banks offering new services are always vying to win the hearts of these customers.  Existing telecoms, utilities, and credit card companies, who process their own payments, also rely on the influx of large volumes of payments from their customers – many via the USPS.

It is true that the rise of the digital age has brought with it a decline in physical check volumes, and that has had an impact on the number of payments processed via mail, especially in these lockbox and retail operations. However, there are still billions of paper check payments made each year in the US, and somebody’s got to get those payments deposited.

However, we have a problem, and it is this. 

As a result of declining check volumes, many hardware manufacturers have chosen to discontinue their check and image transport solutions, leaving their customers in the lurch.  So, as these systems reach their end-of-life stage, the lack of support and availability of service for this legacy equipment poses a huge problem for these banks and utilities.

While this news may sound devastating to any company processing check payments, this scenario presents an opportunity to improve their remittance processing operations. Organizations can replace stand-alone mail openers, image transports and full-page scanners with universal scanning workstations that effectively and efficiently handle all of these functions. Remittances can be opened, scanned, automatically categorized, and sorted with only one touch. Most mail is processed without pre-sorting, which reduces labor and creates a more secure process because fewer employees and machines have to handle the documents.

For example, by scanning a remittance directly from the envelope, lockbox operations can combine what would otherwise be multiple steps into a one-touch process using one operator. With traditional operations, using single-purpose built hardware, envelope sorting, content extraction, two-pass check scanning, and document imaging occurs as disparate processes, with multiple touch points.  With an all-in-one solution, contents can be imaged directly from the envelope in just a few seconds. Incoming flats can be scanned along with their contents, which eliminates the time-consuming and costly step of photocopying the envelopes.

Consider Bill2Pay, whose lockbox operation previously utilized some stand-alone mail openers, high-capacity image transports, and full-page scanners. The manufacturer was discontinuing the image transports they were utilizing, and their operation was at risk.  Bill2Pay deployed high-speed mailroom automation and document imaging equipment strategy, along with new remittance processing software, which reduced their costs by 15% and prep time by 30%. By integrating a universal document scanning workstation into their workflow, the company now completes work in a single pass, eliminating unnecessary steps.

Automating remittance processing is simply better business.

Banks, utilities, telecoms, and lockbox service providers that use systems with integrated extraction and scanning minimize documents being lost, damaged, or separated. This type of single-touch scanning allows banks and other providers to offer additional services by leveraging the data and image files.

Moreover, systems that can handle all of the mail, regardless of type or envelope size, eliminate separate processes to manage different types of remittances. The solution is run by a single operator on a single machine which also improves security and privacy.

If your image transport solution has reached its end-of-life, don’t despair. Replacing multiple pieces of equipment with an integrated content imaging solution will reduce labor and other operational costs, and improve the profitability of your lockbox services.

Our team of project managers, engineers, and analysts can assist and support you through your document management and mailroom automation evaluation and implementation process from start to finish. Contact us today via phone (+1 856.727.1100) or online to learn more.