National City Corp. announced on Monday that it plans to test a check image processing system from NCR Corp.

The system, known as the Scable Image Item Processing System, is designed to speed the processing of deposited checks by replacing paper with digitized images that can be displayed on computer screens.

Training on the system, being installed at National City's operations center in Columbus, Ohio, will begin in January.

Ability to Read Handwritten Numerals

By midyear 1993, the $29 billion-asset bank expects to begin running the "character-amount recognition" function of the system, which enables it to read the handwritten dollar figure from each check.

Huntington Bancshares Inc. last week became the first U.S. financial institution to effectively implement similar technology-from Unisys Corp.- in its check area. Others are expected to follow shortly. Wachovia Corp., Winston-Salem, N.C., is also testing the NCR system.

While neither NCR, a unit of American Telephone and Telegraph Co., nor Clevenland-based National City would discuss cost, NCR said a system that handles 350,000 checks a day would cost $1.7 million to $2.2 million.

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