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New Jersey Bank Taps iMagic

Farmers and Mechanics Bank say goodbye to the headaches of printing and mailing statements. The institution will soon be adding check imaging capabilities to its current Web banking offering through its purchase of the iMagic platform from Open Solutions.

Farmers and Mechanics Bank has said goodbye to the headaches of printing and mailing statements. The Burlington, N.J.-based institution will soon be adding check imaging capabilities to its current Web banking offering through its purchase of the iMagic platform from Glastonbury, Conn.-based Open Solutions.

More than 250 U.S.-based financial institutions are currently using one or more of the iMagic image-based solutions.

Open Solutions will connect iMagic directly to Farmers and Mechanics' core data processing platform (also from Open Solutions), allowing the bank to display check images internally via DDA history screens. The iMagic solution will allow the bank's customers to access those same check images through the bank's Internet banking suite.

"Allowing our customers to better service their banking needs was our primary goal behind the purchase of the iMagic platform," said Karen Shinn, vice president of operations at Farmers and Mechanics Bank. "By updating our operations center to an imaging platform, we are now able to offer these new advancements to our customers. We can now offer the same services as the larger financial institutions and still maintain our own internal platforms at a lower cost than outsourcing."

The bank's customers have made it clear they want the option of check images via the Internet. Farmers and Mechanics will also be able to offer e-mail bank statements for more than 70,000 accounts. This functionality, Shinn added, fills a direct need for the bank and its customers.

The selection of iMagic stemmed from the bank's need to implement image capture within the branch, as well as to offer customers imaged e-mail bank statements and expanded back-office capabilities via image archiving. Equally important was iMagic's ability to seamlessly integrate with the Open Solutions' core processing system.

With iMagic's total imaging software suite, the bank can also streamline and update its internal operations.

"By converting to imaging, our daily new image check capture file will now be able to deliver the same images to other new platforms within the bank," Shinn said. "We now have the ability to internally use these images to deliver an imaged statement, Internet banking images, teller platform images, e-mail statements and enhanced back-office archive research."

The bank will save in a number of other areas, including postal costs.

"With delivery of our new imaged statement along with e-mail statement delivery, our postal costs will decrease significantly," Shinn said. "Also, the efficiencies of our new automated platforms will reduce our overall production costs as well."

Through the iMagic platform, banks can also put bar codes on image statements in order to utilize automatic statement stuffing devices. Researching images from a PC is also much faster than researching from microfilm.

Additional benefits associated with check imaging include reduced research and postal costs, elimination of fine sort when using image statements, and the elimination of microfilm.

"The main idea is that statement processing becomes more efficient, in that you no longer have to count the checks before stuffing them into a statement," said Jim Graybeal, senior VP of sales for iMagic. "Postage reductions can range from 20 to 50 percent, so processing a check using imaging and electronic transport is not only faster than current processing, it's cheaper."

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