Your check image archive is a powerful tool for providing account holders with needed records, responding to legal demands, and meeting operational needs. Some of the tools are intended to help you optimize the performance of the archive for all users. Some of them are designed to help you and your users find information as quickly as possible. And others help to ensure your clients get their check images in the most convenient way. Making sure you have an archive that gives you the tools to succeed as well as making sure your staff understands all of the tools available to them can help to improve performance, efficiency and level of service to your clients.
Performance – Speed vs. Quantity
You probably have several different groups of employees who respond to inquiries or requests for information, and many of them are likely to need the ability to request check images from your archive every day. While these employees are probably very good at finding images, are they using it in the most efficient way possible? One of the often-overlooked features in an archive is the Queued Item Request (QIR). Not all archives have this functionality so it’s important to keep this on your wish list. This feature allows users to request images to be retrieved at a later time. The purpose is to allow the retrieval of large numbers of images to run during a time when there is less demand on the archive. Your financial institution can maximize performance during the business day when large numbers of branch users are making requests and online banking clients are most active. After hours, when branch and online banking demands are lower, institutions can then perform the retrieval of images in bulk. Subpoenas and Cash Letter Reconstructions are both good examples of what you may want to use a QIR for.
Who’s on the Archive team?
One of the most common ways the check image archives are under-utilized is by limiting the employees who have access to it. Have you thought about all the places in your financial institution where people look at or touch checks? Have you done everything you can to eliminate their need for the paper item or a printed copy? Many Financial Institutions continue to have staff contacting their research department to have an image retrieved and printed, then delivered, faxed or emailed to the requestor. This model is not only inefficient because of the involvement of multiple employees, but it lengthens the response time to the client and may result in inaccuracy because of a misunderstanding or miscommunication of the request. Wouldn’t it be simpler to just allow anyone who has a need for check images to request them for themselves? Investing in an archive that allows your whole customer service team to be image capable can greatly streamline your operations.
These changes may seem small, but they can go a long way in saving time and labor. If you haven’t evaluated your archive, now is the time to assess whether you have all the tools you need to succeed and whether your team knows how to use them.
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