Bank Offers Check Deposits Over the Net

Wachovia, the fourth-largest bank in the U.S., is now offering a new banking technology that allows corporations to scan checks and send their deposits electronically over the Internet.

Wachovia Treasury Services announced on Oct. 4 the formal launch of the Remote Deposit Capture Online service, after testing the service for several months. Remote Deposit Capture, or RDC, has been heralded as a major innovation for the industry because it allows corporations to deposit large sums of money electronically without having to physically deposit checks at a bank.

Here’s how it works: Companies using the system scan checks using electronic imaging machines. They balance the deposit amount against the sum of the checks and transmit the deposit electronically to their bank over a secure Internet connection. Once the bank receives the transmission it settles the deposit, checks for image quality and verifies the account number. It then sends the customer back an electronic receipt of the deposit transmission. The company can then destroy the original checks or store them according to its policy.

Wachovia has offered a version of the service that uses software installed on customers’ PCs, but the latest offering can be accessed completely over the Internet as a hosted service.

Lee Madden, senior vice president of Wachovia Image Services, said in a statement announcing the service that the offering will allow companies to accelerate cash flow, receiving same-day credit for deposits made until 8 p.m.

“And in case of disaster at their primary business location, they have the added protection of being able to make deposits from other locations,” he said.

Wachovia said the online offering was successfully tested by a company in the steel industry, but it didn’t identify the customer. The Internet-based service offers the same features as the PC-installed offering, including the ability to detect duplicate deposits and the ability to view previously deposited items.