The testing of hardware is a critical feature of any proposal process when selecting scanners for the teller window. Digital Check has participated in many of these tests in the past few years and we have gathered up some of the best practices that make for an effective hardware evaluation.
Hardware testing generally falls into three phases: 1) lab testing; 2) user acceptance testing (UAT); and, 3) pilot/field testing. Lab testing is the first phase where the hardware is brought into the test lab and integrated into the teller application. Once the hardware is integrated, trained and qualified lab testers will begin to run batches of various types of checks through the application using the scanners to capture the documents. This phase allows the bank to find any potential problems with the application and the hardware working together. It is important at this phase to run as many real world documents as possible to determine whether there will be any thresholding issues caused by documents with heavy backgrounds, documents written with gel pens, money orders, documents with either light or heavy MICR ink or without MICR ink, documents on unusual paper stock, etc.
By running as many documents from as many branches as possible, these unusual documents should be identified at this stage. Digital Check utilizes a feature called Best Read MICR and Best Read Image to resolve such problem documents. Best Read Image uses up to four different thresholding settings simultaneously to ensure that we capture a usable image of the document, while Best Read MICR performs three magnetic algorithms and one OCR read of the document in order to increase the MICR read rate accuracy. Digital Check also uses our feature, Special Documents Handling, to create special thresholding settings for extremely difficult items such as international money orders which can have both light and dark backgrounds.
User acceptance testing is the next phase during which tellers are brought into the lab from the field to run transactions through the software and hardware to give more real-world experience and point of view to the test environment. Here again, it is important to have as many different types of real world documents as possible in order to ensure a real world experience. This phase should lead to many recommendations and other feedback on how to improve the overall process.
Finally is pilot and field testing in which scanners are placed into a limited set of branches across the footprint of the bank. Pilot/field testing is also a crucial step in working out any final adjustments before going into a live environment across the board. Our experience with the banks with whom we’ve worked shows us that it is important to scale up in the pilot tests such that the bank has the ability to make adjustments as necessary in the early days when issues will come up before rolling out to too many branches. In other words, start with a limited set of branches and add more branches incrementally over time.
Digital Check assigns a project manager to work with our bank customers who is willing to do site visits to answer questions, perform training, and address any issues that may come up. Digital Check’s project manager will work with the bank at every step through the process.
The testing process can be one of the most rewarding aspects of the project. For more information about Digital Check scanners, fill out our web contact form, or call (847) 446-2285.