Nationar a Step Closer To Offering Image Service

A New York-based item processing firm has moved closer to completing a statement service that provides bank customers with digitized images of their checks.

Nationar, an independent provider of correspondent banking services, is installing a high-speed image camera system from Recognition Equipment Inc.

The equipment will be used in conjunction with a Recognition Equipment document transport system to digitize check images, which will be stored on a mainframe computer for subsequent sorting, merging, and printing of account statements for banks.

Nationar, formerly the Savings Bank Trust Co., announced in May that it was installing software from Cincinnati Bell Information Systems to create statements that include miniature copies of check images, rather than the original paper checks. The image statement service should be available this fall.

Multiple Benefits

Banks are interested in offering image statements because they anticipate that the product will appeal to customers, reduce back-office costs, and boost fee income. Studies have shown that some customers prefer image statements for convenience and would be willing to pay an extra fee to get them.

Few Banks Offer Service

Banks also believe they can lower postage costs. Up to 21 check images can fit on a single 8-by-10-inch sheet, which will reduce the weight of statements and require less postage.

Just a few banks in the country offer image statements, but more are expected to introduce the product next year.

Nationar expects that some banks will contract with an outside firm to produce the special statements for certain customer groups, such as private banking clients, rather than purchase the software and camera equipment necessary to produce the statements.

Nationar plans to offer the image statement service in two forms: a complete check processing and statement-rendering service and a statement-rendering service only.

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