Case Study: Check Clearing Efficiency

Enterprise Iron Financial Industry Solutions, Inc.


The Check Clearing Act (Check 21), was introduced to allow banks the ability to create, transmit and utilize digitized images of checks.

This would enable banks to capture, clear, and archive every check transaction.

Prior to Check 21, check processing was paper-intensive, centralized system-oriented, and highly manual, which made the process subject to fraud, errors, and costly to service.

Multiple banking clients engaged Enterprise Iron to improve their check processing capabilities and to realize significant long-term savings in transportation, staffing, and overall customer experience.

The new digital process significantly cut down the use of paper, also resulting in a positive impact on the environment.

Our Clients were primed to take advantage of the changes from the point of presentment (tellers) across thousands of retail branches to the new centralized hubs of back-office processing (reconciliation, settlement, and clearance).

These banks sought to improve their financial position in a commodity-driven market by enhancing their processing into a low-cost processing, low-cost development, and efficient time-to-market platform.

Our Clients recognized the economic and competitive advantages of implementing a new check capture solution and wanted to assess the different operational models to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each.

They wanted to assess the investment, savings, and the ROI of implementing a new check processing solution with key factors in mind: hardware, software, implementation, and change management.


Enterprise Iron assessed the current state of their Check Clearing compliance processes, identified opportunities for improvement, and created a roadmap to deliver a step-change in efficiency and compliance.

Our approach varied per project based on the size of each Client:

  • Large banks were classified as having at least 2,500 branches while mid-size and small banks were defined as having roughly 500 and 100 branches, respectively

Models were assessed, and the most common models evaluated were:

  • Front-Counter Capture and ATM – Scanning devices were integrated at the teller stations to create the digital check image
  • Back-Counter Capture – While checks are accumulated at the teller, processing would later occur inside the branch
  • Hybrid – A combination of the front-counter and back-counter capture models. The scanning device was integrated at the teller station to enable real-time capture and processing of transactions
  • Corporate Deposit Capture – Commercial Clients who handle large volumes of checks would utilize hardware and software to convert their deposit transactions to either a digital image or to an electronic payment

Our Integrated Project Team developed business cases that included current state and future state metrics, technology and operational impacts, and solution recommendations best suited for their business models.

Our Business Transformation Team analyzed existing processes and policies then planned the transformation of the Clients’ operations to better leverage scanning, imaging, indexing, and workflow solutions that had been underutilized.

Our Enterprise Content Management and Solution Implementation practice worked with the Client’s IT Engineering Team to develop and test the capabilities that the new operating model would include.

The new operating model and capabilities were deployed across our Clients’ vast networks of retail bank branches.


As a result of working with Enterprise Iron, our Clients improved their check clearing capabilities and compliance with the Check Clearing Act.

They were able to create additional capacity and redeploy operational resources to greater strategic objectives without incurring additional costs.

With a foundation to design, develop, and deploy automated check processing solutions based on our work, our Clients achieved the following benefits:

  • Centralized operations cost reduction
  • Transportation savings
  • Staff cost reduction
  • Fraud reduction
  • Positive environmental impact
  • Improved customer service
  • New customer base and improved retention

Project completion was delivered on time and under budget.