Taking It to the Teller Line: Considerations for Implementing Teller Image Capture

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23 September 2011


A third of the top 25 US retail banks have taken check image all the way to the teller line, and another third will likely do so in the next two years.

Since the passage of Check 21 in 2004, US financial institutions of all sizes raced to implement image exchange and distributed capture projects as a way to enjoy noteworthy operational efficiencies. Most popular was branch image capture (the installation of a back counter workstation and capture device), now in approximately 85% of US financial institutions. Though they once loved branch capture for the transportation savings it afforded, financial institutions are gradually having buyers’ remorse with branch capture and are thinking about bringing image capture to the teller line.

According to a new report, Taking It to the Teller Line: Considerations for Implementing Teller Image Capture, more than 700 US financial institutions have implemented teller capture as a means to extract additional operational savings while improving the customer experience in the branch. As a percentage, the largest banks have led the way, with a third having already taken capture to the teller line.

“Most financial institutions responded to Check 21 with a back counter approach to branch capture,” says Bob Meara, Senior Analyst with Celent’s Banking Group and author of the report. “It was the path of least resistance, but it also brought administrative work into the branch network. Now, with a growing need to improve branch efficiency and effectiveness, more banks are exploring teller capture.”

The report begins with a short primer on branch image capture, with its several variations including teller capture, along with evidence of its likely continued growth. The report then makes a case for teller capture, summarizing its key benefits along with the common rationale for, as well as historic barriers to, implementation. The report then summarizes key considerations associated with planning, testing, and implementing a teller capture initiative based on interviews among 10 financial institutions in the US and UK and 12 vendors of teller capture applications and hardware.