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Members have access to their ATM deposits as soon as the next day at Orange County Teachers Federal Credit Union.

OCTFCU's milestone in ATM service is the result of automatic deposit processing implemented last summer, according to Patricia Rocha, manager of document management at the $4 billion CU.

Image-based ATMs complement the automated processing system, from which the credit union's employees at any of 12 branches can retrieve an online image of a recently-deposited check.

"A member will make a deposit at an ATM today, and tomorrow the member can ask to withdraw all the funds," Rocha said.

The benefits are noticeable behind the scenes as well-deposit entry operators are keying 70% fewer items now that deposits are automatically, Rocha said.

"We went from keying 100% of our checks to keying about 30%," she said.

Previously, operators keyed the four-digit sequence from deposit envelopes, in addition to the check numbers from about 3 checks per envelope.

"OMEGA does what it's supposed to in reducing data entry," Rocha continued. "And because one of our biggest risks is data entry, operational risk is thus reduced."

The OMEGA system, provided by the New-Orleans-based TWS Systems, Inc. and built on the open architecture of the Microsoft.NET platform, has also enabled OCTFCU to eliminate multiple servers dedicated to ATM processing.

"We process all of our ATM deposits from a central point now," said Rocha.

With OMEGA's digital-image processing and handwriting recognition technology, reading check deposit amounts at a rate of 850 items per minute, OCTFCU operators are taking a hands-off approach to deposit processing, she continued.

"We no longer have to physically handle every check," explained Rocha. "Operators are working from check images, and are never touching the checks.

"The less you handle the checks the less chance there is that you'll lose a check," she added.

Previously, OCTFCU "literally had to scan every check to film with a manual scanner and key in all the dollar amounts," Rocha said.

The workload was substantial, considering that the credit union handles 295,000 ATM envelopes per month.

The reduced workload resulting from the OMEGA system allowed OCTFCU to expand its ATM fleet without adding additional deposit processing operators, Rocha continued.

The 295,000-member credit union this year added 53 ATMs, she said. OCTFCU members now have access to 200 machines, and the 53 new ATMs will accept an additional 23,000 items per month.

OCTFCU processes an average of about $185 million in ATM deposits per month, said Rocha.

Orange County Teachers and Miramar, Fla.-based Eastern Financial Florida Credit Union are the two credit unions nationwide that are live with OMEGA, according to TWS.

Another seven credit unioins with more than $1 billion in assets plan to convert to OMEGA, including Pentagon Federal, VyStar, Wescom, Kern Schools Federal, Black Hills, Baxter and Municipal Credit Unions.

CUJ Resources

For more info: Orange County Teachers FCU: www.octfcu.org

TWS www.twssystems.com

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