In the business world, cash is king. And the faster that checks are converted to cash, the more competitive the business.

With this in mind, Eastman Kodak Company’s document imaging business today launched a suite of hardware, software, and professional services to help banks, businesses, and federal, state, and local government offices quickly and easily convert paper checks to digital images at the point of check presentment, leading to accelerated clearance and payment.

The new digital imaging offerings from Kodak, which include the KODAK i6030 Check Scanner, image capture and transmission software, and a host of support services, capitalize on the benefits of the recently enacted Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act. Known as Check 21, the federal legislation removes the barriers to electronic check processing, setting the stage for checks to clear—and money to be moved—in a matter of hours instead of days.

“By eliminating paper checks from the processing flow, banks, companies, including retailers, and government offices will see a positive impact on operational costs as well as working capital. Moreover, banks will be able to create and offer new products and services,” said Alenka Grealish, manager, bank practice at Celent Communications. “While the height of the market is still nine months away, early entrants into this market who can provide a complete solution suite of services, software, and hardware will be in a unique position to take advantage of the demand for this type of product over the next three years.”

Celent Communications estimates that bank adoption of point-of-presentment check image capture systems will grow by 82 percent annually each of the next three years, with adoption by businesses and government offices rising approximately 40 percent to 60 percent annually. Banks (national, super-regional, and regional); middle-market companies with revenues between $5 million and $1 billion; and government offices, especially at the state and local levels, are target customers for Kodak’s portfolio.

Kodak’s new portfolio of products and services is designed to enable high-quality digital images of paper checks to be captured at the point of presentment—for example, when a customer gives a check to a bank teller, when a county resident purchases a marriage license or duplicate birth certificate in a clerk’s office, or when a small business owner stocks up at an office supply store. The checks can either be scanned by the teller, government clerk, or cashier or by back-office employees at the branch, office, or store level who oversee the preparation of the day’s checks and other payment-related documents.

A key benefit of check capture at the point of presentment is that checks clear faster—same-day clearance rather than two to five days with paper checks. Banks, businesses, and government offices also can realize decreased operational costs because a reduction in paper reduces the need for labor-intensive services, such as the transportation of checks and deposits from one location to another. Other benefits include the expedited collection of returned checks and the ability to more quickly identify fraud. For banks, customer service is enhanced through fewer disputes, greater accuracy, and gains in efficient cash-drawer balancing.

“Kodak is the world’s leader in imaging, and we have more than 75 years experience in helping businesses deploy imaging solutions, beginning with a commercial camera and microfilm that George Eastman designed to help a New York banker take pictures of checks,” said Andy Lawrence, solutions business manager for Kodak’s Graphic Communications Group, document imaging business. “And for the past 15 years, Kodak has been an industry leader in digital document scanning for businesses and government offices of all sizes. We are now marrying our financial services heritage with our digital innovation to bring a new offering that fulfills crucial business and government needs.”

Kodak’s digital check imaging portfolio enables banks, businesses, and government offices to better capture, manage, archive, and deliver payments-related information.

The portfolio includes:
—A scanner that converts paper checks into high-quality digital images. Kodak is launching the KODAK i6030 Check Scanner for use in consumer-facing environments, bank branch teller lines, or back-office locations at the branch, office, or store level. The i6030 will enable tellers, clerks, cashiers, or back-office personnel to scan up to 40 checks and related items per minute. The small-footprint i6030 features USB 2.0 connectivity, reads MICR, and can be equipped with a pre-scan imprinter that prints document control numbers or other custom information onto the paper checks. Images meet ANSI X9B image-quality standards. The scanner has a list price of $1,895 with imprinter.

—Software programs, developed in conjunction with Wausau Financial Systems, that manage not only the capture of images but also the secure transmission of them via the Internet and information technology networks. The KODAK t6000 Client Software for Transaction Applications manages the capture of check images—either with the i6030 Check Scanner or other devices—and then transmits extracted data and digital images securely via the Internet to either the KODAK t6000 Server Software for Corporate Transaction Centers or KODAK t6000 Server Software for Financial Transaction Centers, which aggregates and routes the data and images via an ANSI X9.37 file to banks, third-party clearinghouses, or other locations. The software pricing is dependent on the volume of checks to be processed and specific application requirements.

—Professional services that support the smooth delivery of the product into a customer’s environment—including site inspections, installation of hardware and software, consulting services, software customization, and product training.

The portfolio of hardware, software, and professional services will be available beginning in September. Kodak plans to sell the solutions portfolio to end users via a select group of its reseller channel partners that have a proven track record of delivering enterprise solutions in target markets. Kodak’s team of professionals will work closely with these reseller partners to identify sales leads, complete sales, and provision products and services.