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Disclosing Bank's Change to Check Imaging

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Question: 
We are going to start check imaging rather than sending checks to our customers. What is the best way for us to inform our customer about imaging? We have an older customer base and want to make it as easy as possible for them to make the transition. Would a letter from the bank President be sufficient, or are there any statement stuffers available that explain imaging?
Answer: 

When my bank converted we emphasized the need for a switch. One reason was to avoid a fee change, and the customers certainly were in favor of them not going up. We included an example and we emphasized that the copies we provided, front and back, were legally acceptable to most merchants and even the government and the IRS. We couldn't say they were accepted by everyone as that may not always be the case. Consult counsel for any particulars in your state. Your Security Officer may also assist, because prosecution and relations with your district attorney may be affected if they can't have original checks. Calculate a disposal period if necessary.

When we made the switch it was all or nothing. Some customers wanted to hold back, but we could not let them. Those few would decrease the cost effectiveness and increase future chances for error. One problem you may have to address is the size of the images. The elder customers prefer larger items. Again, that can decrease the efficiencies but if your system can handle different sizes for different accounts, you may opt for that.

The last item I recommend is a check with counsel. Look for any state laws that require the actual delivery of checks. You may have one out there that requires disclosure on the delivery of the actual checks when requested within a period of time or some at no cost. We also provided custom-cover 3-ring binders that had money images on them and offered one free to each accountholder. Some liked the idea, but we had a room of notebooks for a year afterward.

First published on BankersOnline.com 9/04/06

First published on 09/04/2006

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