The State of Distributed Capture: Imaging in the Retail Channel

by Bob Meara, June 26, 2007


New York, NY, USA June 26, 2007

Branch image capture is quickly becoming mainstream. Image ATMs, however, have a long way to go.

Check 21 acted as a catalyst not only for image-based check processing but also for fundamental changes to the way deposits would be made, arguably altering the competitive landscape in ways no other banking innovation has. But remote deposit is far from the only hotbed of distributed capture adoption. In the two years since Check 21 went into effect, branch and teller capture adoption has increased significantly. Among the findings of the new Celent report, , are:

  • Branch and teller adoption has grown from 19,000 capture points in 2004 to 103,000 in 2006 and will grow 160% to 272,000 by 2012 behind adoption by more than 90% of US financial institutions.
  • Over 2,600 financial institutions have implemented (or are implementing) branch capture corresponding to some 141,000 scanners through March 2007. Based on aggregate vendor activity, Celent expects over 3,300 institutions will have solutions by year end 2007.
  • Five of the nation's top 10 banks have image initiatives designed to convert existing envelope ATMs to image-based ATMs.
  • Distributed capture is moving from an item processing phenomenon into the mainstream of retail banking, taking a prominent spot in both retail branch and ATM channels.

"For an increasing number of financial institutions, the question of branch capture is no longer if, but when," says Bob Meara, author of the report and senior analyst in the Banking group at Celent. "And for nearly 1,000 financial institutions in the past year alone, the question of when no longer remains."

However, image ATM adoption will be far more measured. For most financial institutions, the ATM channel will be the last domino to fall in their image migration. The relatively few banks placing image ATMs on the front burner are doing so to improve the customer experience with the ATM channel. "These ATMs, when accompanied by purposeful consumer education initiatives, can really move the needle, increasing transactions per ATM and changing the transaction mix," says Meara.

The 33-page report contains 11 figures and 8 tables. A table of contents is available online.

Members of Celent's Retail Banking research services can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left. Non-members should contact for more information.  

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents

New York, NY, USA June 26, 2007


Executive Summary 3
Entering the Mainstream 5
Branch Capture 7
  Adoption Overview 9
  Outlook 18
Image ATM 21
  Adoption Overview 22
  More than Truncation:  Kennebeck Savings Bank 24
Capture Devices 28
  What the Future Will Hold 31
Objectivity and Methodology 32

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