Digital Check scanners create check images that are transmitted electronically from customers to their banks and internally within bank operations. Remote deposit capture applications, which are marketed by financial institutions to their commercial customers, eliminate the need for the daily trip to the branch to make a deposit. Branch automation systems enable a bank’s branch personnel to create an electronic image of a check and transmit it to a central site for check clearing, also eliminating the need for courier services between the bank’s locations and subsequently to clearing houses.
According to a research report entitled State of Remote Deposit Capture, Entering the Mainstream, released by the industry analyst firm Celent, LLC earlier this year, the total number of remote deposit capture seats is expected to grow from 244,000 in 2007 to more than five million in 2012. The resulting reduction in CO2 emissions from this projected industry-wide adoption of remote deposit capture solutions could approach more than 4.3 million tons based on current average car mileage.
A number of “green” initiatives have been announced in the past year by members of the financial services industry. Wachovia announced a “Go Green in California” program in June (the press release can be found at www.wachovia.com). The National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) recently announced the formation of a green coalition with leadership partners including Bank of America, CheckFree, Citibank, Citizens Bank, EPN, the Federal Reserve Banks, Fiserv, JPMorgan Chase, Wachovia, Wells Fargo, and U.S. Bank. These efforts have concentrated on educating individual consumers about the positive environmental impacts of choosing electronic bills, statements, and payments over paper.
“We want to educate financial institutions and their commercial customers on the positive environmental impact of using remote deposit capture and branch automation technologies,” said John Gainer, executive vice president of Digital Check. “The advanced imaging innovations within our TellerScan devices enable the efficient conversion of paper checks to electronic images at the customer site and represent a major factor behind the rising acceptance of these solutions by small businesses, retail merchants, and corporate treasury departments.“
About the Reduced CO2 Emission Estimate
Assumptions included in the reduced CO2 emissions estimate include a reduction of 20 pounds of CO2 per gallon of gasoline burned (see www.fueleconomy.gov for a detailed explanation of calculation) and an average mileage of 26.4 miles per gallon based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (www.nhtsa.gov) 2007 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ). The estimate only represents the impact of reduced mileage from automobile and courier services in local transportation and does not include CO2 reduction estimates from elimination of air courier services involved in subsequent check clearing operations.