The FSTC, an industry consortium of financial institutions, equipment manufacturers, solution providers and government agencies, formed the Camera Calibration project to examine root causes of check image quality problems and develop industry standards and calibration tools to enable reliable equipment and system performance. Digital Check was a participant and supporter of the six-month study.
The FSTC project developed a test document that allows each image capture device to be calibrated according to standards that will ensure consistency and image usability across the industry. From this work, the key imaging system drivers that most impact usability were identified to be spectral response of the capture systems, sensitivity to contrast changes and edge detection performance at low contrast.
“The usability of a check image within a distributed check capture application is ultimately determined by how well the check scanner system picks up the key check information while dropping out unwanted background and patterns from the check document,” said Tom Anderson, president of Digital Check. “Our scanners include a number of innovative technologies, above and beyond the standards outlined within the FSTC report, that allow us to produce the clearest image quality possible.”
Among the additional features to improve image quality and data accuracy is Digital Check’s BestRead® Image technology with edge detection algorithms and adaptive thresholding. Instead of depending on a single scan and threshold setting, the system uses an Image Quality Analysis at scan time to select the best check image from several alternative threshold settings. Digital Check also incorporates BestRead® MICR functionality which reads the MICR line using optical character recognition (OCR) as well as magnetically to significantly improve MICR read rate accuracy. A third enhanced capability over the FSTC standards includes the optional removal of speckles from the document for enhanced read rates on courtesy and legal amount fields, which are typically handwritten on the checks.
“We strive to achieve lower overall total cost of ownership of our devices by producing the highest image quality,” said Anderson. “Highest image quality translates into less operator intervention when scanning the checks and fewer returned items from the Fed for reprocessing.”