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Benefits of Outsourcing Check Processing

May  23 
Joe Pachunka  CIO, Deposit Solutions, Fiserv 

Resolve staffing and fraud challenges with outsourcing

Check volume is declining, but it’s still significant enough to your business to require dedicated item processing operational and technology resources. Checks have seen a 7.2% decline in use over a three-year period, yet the average value of check payments increased from $1,908 in 2018 to $2,430 in 2021, according to a 2022 Federal Reserve triennial payments study (initial findings).

With the shortage of qualified employees, financial institutions may be smart to consider outsourcing. The staffing issue will likely get more challenging over time as more people with item processing expertise retire or leave. Retaining qualified technical resources is also difficult.

Outsourcing can reduce costs, drive efficiencies and free up staff for more important work, such as driving deposit growth. Large outsource providers such as Fiserv can provide specialized teams to support customers 24x7 well into the future. By shifting to a private clearing network like Fiserv Clearing Network, you can lower check-clearing fees anywhere from 20%-50%, according to an analysis of Fiserv clients.

But more than that, outsourcing can help protect against cybercrime and fraud by investing in the latest technologies and system updates to detect and prevent attacks. In our experience, in-house systems often are not updated on a yearly schedule, and that can open the door to criminal schemes and system resiliency risks. Outsource providers regularly upgrade to thwart the latest risks and maintain compliance standards as well.

While offering comprehensive services, outsourcing doesn’t mean a loss of control for the financial institution. When you outsource, you can pick the components you want. And you should always have a window into processing even though you don’t host the systems yourself. You can continue to run your back office as is best for your financial institution.

If you’re researching outsourcing options for your item processing function, make sure the provider you select will deliver everything you need. 

An outsourced item processing partner can:

  • Enhance transaction processing: Reduce time spent on processing items and deliver a consistent and exceptional depositor experience
  • Improve cybersecurity: Be prepared in a constantly evolving risk environment with rapid application deployment of resolved cyber risk findings to reduce threat
  • Fulfill talent challenge: Solve the issue of finding and keeping qualified and industry-knowledgeable resources – even when remote working may be necessary
  • Prepare for disasters: Be poised and ready to ensure operating system functionality if a pandemic or natural disaster challenge occurs
  • Gain efficiencies: Through a streamlined and simplified approach to an outsourced environment, you can gain greater efficiencies
  • Recognize cost savings: With a partner investing in the latest technologies, you don’t have to worry about keeping pace with changing regulations and needs

With over 40 years of experience providing item processing outsourcing services to more than 2,400 financial institutions, Fiserv has the expertise and capabilities to help you achieve an exceptional outsourced item processing experience. Our item volumes have been growing rapidly in the last few years as more financial institutions decide to outsource their item processing services. Take the burden off your financial institution so you can focus on your core business.