Application of CD-R and Document Imaging Technology in the Banking and Financial Sector

Check Imaging Credit Card Statement Loan & Credit Debt Collection

Check Imaging

CD-R technology offers benefits to a variety of check imaging applications. A single CD with 650MB storage capacity can hold over 30,000 check images (both sides). Because it is a random access medium, it is platform and application independent. Using low-cost CD jukeboxes and access software, banks are able to set up large internal archives that provide near-line access to check images. Such archives would support customer service functions throughout the organization.

Distribution of CD-based data is also easy, because front-end software can be included on disc and read on any machine. The payoff of implementing CD-R Document Imaging technology is less manual interaction, lower overhead and improved customer satisfaction. Another benefit to banks is the reduction of check fraud, because data written to a CD cannot be changed.

The banking industry is already identifying areas where CD technology has a particularly good fit. In addition to remote access or microfilm, some banks offer their customers the option of receiving check image data on CD. Some banks took the process one step further by developing a user-friendly application that enables customers to access check-image information scattered across several CDs by simple form-based querying. This search and retrieval engine can be included with the CDs distributed.

For example, Smart Storage's SmartCD for recording software can be used for state-of-the-art production of CDs over a Windows NT network. SmartCD for recording is an integral piece of the automated process that moves check images to CD-R using an autoload CD-R recorder. You can easily see what is on each disc as SmartCD for recording maintains a file of all CDs written, indexed by a unique serial number and corresponding bar code. SmartCD for recording also gives information on the status of each job, and reports any errors in recording.

An archives of check images can be maintained on CDs in jukeboxes, which are effortlessly accessed with Smart Storage's SmartCD for access software, thus eliminating the need for dial-in access. Most customers that accumulate collections of CD-Rs, may eventually choose to archive discs in CD jukeboxes.

In summary, the benefits of implementing document imaging and CD-R technology are:

  • Long-term storage of check images
  • Easy access to stored check images
  • Store more data at lower cost than other technologies
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Customer satisfaction is improved because of faster response


Credit Card Statements

Credit card service companies who are processor of credit card transactions and other card based services need to record and distribute credit card statements to its bank clients. Some credit card companies typically print over tens of million of cardholder statements per month. With appropriate hardware and software, credit card companies can now replace microfiche with CDs for the archival and distribution of those statements.

By storing information on CD-R instead of the traditional microfiche, discrepancies that used to take days or weeks to clear up are now reconciled within minutes. Large credit card companies now store hundred of million credit card statements on CD-Rs each month. Using specialist software, these companies can index all cardholder statements by any alphanumeric item, such as account number, name, amount, etc. These index enable data stored on the CD to be instantly and easily available to the credit card company's customer service representatives. The representatives can now quickly find the credit card statement in question, answer cardholder questions on the spot. If necessary, the representative can print a replica of the customer's original statement out using a credit card statement form stored on the CD and fax it to cardholders the same day.

With the document imaging and CD-R technology, it is the cardholder that benefits from the savings, as a result of the fast and accurate customer service financial institutions now offer. In summary, the benefits are:

  • Client records are accessed and distributed faster
  • Customer service quality improved
  • Microfiche is replaced with inexpensive CD-Rs


Loan & Credit Retrieval System

Consider if you have half a million pages of loan and credit information in large capacity removable media, such as Magnetic Optical (MO), and need to search for a page of information. You will agree that the manual loading of discs will be a very time consuming process.

Some jukeboxes, such as that from Sony and Pioneer, allow for the automatic loading of hundreds of CDs. When using this kind of system, user will be able to save considerable time over the manual loading of disks.

With a well set up document imaging and CD-R system with jukeboxs, you can scan a thousand pages each day. The databases can then written to CD-R and available for detailed full-text searching. When all the information is converted, a system that can run under Windows and network can be set up. The system can also connect to a network providing enterprise-wide access for employees at different locations. A bank's loan officer can have fast and easy access from their desktop computers to all kind of loan applications and documents. They can now efficiently respond to customer enquiries.

Moreover, these systems allow the design of one's own look up tables that prevent data entry errors by displaying a predefined list of options from which to choose. So a bank can easily attach the appropriate loan type, purpose type and document type to the document's profile. Electronic folders for each loan number can be created and within that folder all documentation pertaining to that particular loan be archived. The bank can have a file for each customer within a portfolio. These systems can also allow the batch scanning and the creation and assignation of a profile card to a defined batch of documents. In summary, the benefits are:

  • Archiving client credit and loan information faster
  • Access to loan and credit information faster
  • Customer service quality improved
  • Storage cost is lowered by using inexpensive CD-Rs


Debt Collection

In the debt collection business, one main CD-R database application in use is archiving and distributing large daily and financial reports about the client's debtors. Reports can be taken from a financial client's mainframe and converted to ASCII format. These large files can then be parsed and directly import into a database. Once this is complete, a debt collection agency can copy this information directly to a CD-R at the end of each month.

If a client has a question on a particular account, the employee of a debt collection agency can simply search the CD-R, print the information requested, and fax it the same day. This process will greatly reduce the amount of computer generated reports required by a collection agency. Moreover, when a piece of information need searching, what normally would take 6-8 hours with microfiche, will takes less than 20 minutes to research with CD-R.


Other Applications

Other applications that involve both an imaging and data distribution component are perfectly suitable for CD-R technology. Examples are cash management and proof of deposit applications. If you want high on-line availability of production data, long-term storage, and cost effectiveness, CD-R technology is the choice.

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