FSTC Removes Major Obstacle to Check 21

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The Financial Services Technology Consortium (FSTC) successfully concluded phase II of its Image Quality and Usability Assurance Project. The project's goals were to produce a set of metrics against which check images could be judged and establish thresholds that identify unusable images.

These standards, many of which are already being adopted, will enable financial institutions for the first time, to accurately predict check image usability as the banking system moves toward full electronic processing of the 36 billion checks a year that the nation's businesses and consumers produce. Banks will soon be able to improve the effectiveness of their manual review while reducing the number of images reviewed, speed up their review times, and reduce their risk and liability. This is a key development in the deployment of image exchange and the Check 21 Act.

Accurately identifying problem images early in the check processing cycle can prevent poor quality images from entering the system, and help ensure efficient processing and high customer satisfaction levels. During this phase of the project, the team created usability definitions, identified usability metrics, and tested over 3.5 million check images for the defects defined during phase one.

Information from this testing was used to assess the usefulness of the image quality metrics in predicting check usability, and to set thresholds the industry can use to filter out poor quality images.

For info: www.fstc.org.

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