- Industry-leading check scanning speed and character recognition accuracy -
The growth of electronic check processing
Bank checks are still widely used in retail transactions in the United States and parts of Europe. To process these checks it is necessary for the recipient bank to send them to the issuing bank to enact payment. In the past, this often meant that the checks were transported by truck or airplane. However, the 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States paralyzed air transportation, and caused serious delays to check processing and bank payments. This was a trigger for financial institutions to develop a system for the electronic processing of checks, which involved scanning signed checks and transmitting the electronic data between banks. Since this system was developed, check scanning teller devices have become firmly established in banks looking to improve productivity. Recently this trend has extended to retailers, who are also choosing to install these devices in ever greater numbers.
High character recognition accuracy
Keen to address industry trends, Epson set about developing multifunction teller devices such as the TM-S9000MJ and TM-S2000MJ that feature highly accurate character recognition. To turn checks into electronic data it is necessary to accurately recognize text written using magnetic ink on the bottom part of the check and convert it into data. Accuracy is essential because misreading data could lead to errors when money is transferred between financial institutions, and Epson's engineers prioritized reducing misread data to an absolute minimum.
When reading the magnetic ink on checks, the TM-S9000MJ and TM-S2000MJ don't simply use a magnetic head to recognize the data. They also employ optical character recognition (OCR) to increase accuracy. The data scanned from checks is converted to either black and white by the printer driver installed into a PC. However, conventional systems can read the background pattern of the check as black, making it impossible to distinguish from the text on the check. Epson's engineers therefore developed a method of dividing data from the background pattern from the text data on the check, eliminating the background pattern data, and accurately reading the text. This magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) system can read all but 0.1% of characters written on checks.
At the same time as they carry out this complex processing, Epson's teller devices are capable of scanning both sides of 200 checks a minute, the fastest in the industry*.
All necessary functions in a single device
Capable of scanning checks, ID cards, ATM cards, the TM-S9000MJ can print on roll paper and single receipts. It's safe to say that this teller device contains all the functions required by bank tellers. At the same time, it is cased in a compact body that maximizes the space available to bank tellers.
In addition to the high-speed scanning function mentioned earlier, Epson's lineup uses an inkjet print head capable of printing in 50 mm bands, which can cover checks from most major banks. It is also capable of printing on up to 200 checks a minute thanks to an inkjet print head.
Epson's multifunction teller devices have addressed the trend towards electronic checks. And with all the necessary functions packed into a single device, Epson believes it greatly contributes to bank productivity.
* As of March 2013 among equivalent price desktop scanners (according to Epson research)