For many companies, driving to the bank to make check deposits is part of their daily routine. Some businesses even make multiple bank trips each day, often rushing in the afternoon to try to beat the daily cutoff time.
For many businesses, however, this routine has become a thing of the past. New technology has enabled banks to offer a cutting-edge service called remote deposit capture that eliminates the need to deposit checks at your bank’s branch.
Instead of sending an employee to the bank (or running to the bank yourself) to make deposits, you can now transmit images of checks to the bank from the convenience of your office, using specially designed scanners and software provided by your bank. The technology captures images of the front and back of checks and transmits the scanned images to the bank via secure encryption software. The potential benefits of remote deposit capture are substantial:
- Time and cost savings: The cost of couriers or the time required to send employees to the bank is eliminated. For many companies these savings will outweigh the pennies-per-check transaction fees associated with the service.
- Greater convenience: You can make check deposits at any time, day or night, based on your schedule, not when the bank is open or closed.
- Increased accuracy: Electronically deposited check images and amounts are captured, displayed, and verified, reducing deposit preparation errors. You can balance deposits by comparing amounts for checks you have keyed in with the scanned images onscreen.
- Improved funds availability and cash management: You may gain a day or more of float because checks deposited via remote deposit capture clear faster, which means quicker access to your money and better cash flow. Depending on your bank, deposits made as late as 8 p.m. may be credited to your account the same business day, and funds from checks deposited by the end of the day are usually available the next business day.
- Account consolidation: Multiple office locations can make deposits into a single bank account, and multiple deposits can be made from different locations each day. This may allow consolidation of relationships with multiple financial institutions.
- Improved recordkeeping and research capabilities: The technology not only scans and transmits images but also captures and centrally stores them in your computer system for the length of time you specify. This enables you to research payment information for any period you select.
As a general rule, remote deposit capture is most beneficial to companies that receive checks with relatively high average dollar amounts and those that receive a steady stream of check payments throughout the week (or even day), making frequent bank trips time-consuming and inconvenient.
Another important factor to keep in mind is that remote deposit capture makes geographic proximity to a bank branch practically irrelevant. This means you’re no longer limited to doing business with local banks that are located near you, which may give you more latitude in shopping around for better bank deals and consolidating multiple banking relationships.
Don Sadler is a freelance writer and editor specializing in business and finance.