The High Cost of Blurry Checks

Did you know that financial institutions expend more than 5 million employee hours per year correcting minor errors on checks? It’s true – and you should care since, as a credit union member, you are the part owner of a financial institution.

Digital Check Corp, which provides check scanning technology to CUs and banks, recently released a report titled, “Image Quality: The Quiet Problem That Costs Millions.”

The report discloses that poor handwriting or background interference results in up to 20% of all checks and money orders deposited in the U.S. needing to be re-scanned or manually keyed.

When this happens, your CU spends an average of $20 per item, (in employee and other costs), rectifying the problem.

Check scanners have gotten pretty good at reading people’s handwriting, but they’re not perfect. And with scanners now being used in ATMs, the error rate of scanners is turning into an ever-greater expense for financial institutions.

The administrative cost of dealing with checks is a major expense for CUs – as are the costs associated with handling cash. With the explosive growth in digital banking now underway, we can envision a day when checks become increasingly rare artifacts of the past.

In the meantime, you could save your CU some overhead by trying your best to make the checks you deposit as legible as humanly possible. Remember, as a CU part-owner, the money save really is your own.

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