Hy-Vee to Cut Check Processing Costs with New System

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Hy-Vee to Cut Check Processing Costs with New System

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Hy-Vee Inc. here said it plans to install a remote check deposit image capture solution with back-office conversion (BOC) chain wide, to reduce check processing costs.

The grocer will use Duluth, Ga.-based NCR's ImageMark Commercial Passport technology, which includes remote, Web-based image capture, conversion, validation, and leverages the lower cost automated clearinghouse (ACH) network.

The new BOC ruling by the National Automated Clearing House Association, effective as of March 2007, allows businesses to collect a check written at the checkout counter and convert it to an ACH transaction in the back office and then deposit that transaction electronically.

"We wanted more control over our costs and a way to utilize our bank operations," said Kevin Reeve, a.v.p. and comptroller for Hy-Vee. "We felt our best option was to bring the technology in-house and look for ways to leverage our investment. ACH alone will save us about 4 cents on every deposited check."

Using the ImageMark system, Hy-Vee will capture check images and data in the back office of each retail store, then transmit a balanced deposit via a secure Internet connection to the corporate office, applying BOC rules to determine eligibility and converting qualified transactions to an ACH file for processing. Checks that do not qualify for conversion are processed as an image using NCR technology. The image of the check and ACH transactions are also routed to an NCR archive for easy retrieval.

As owner of Midwest Heritage Bank, Hy-Vee has an inside perspective on check processing and the associated costs. The new processing strategy will allow Hy-Vee to benefit from earlier funds availability, reduced courier costs, and improved internal reporting.

Employee-owned Hy-Vee operates 224 stores in seven Midwestern states, and had sales of more than $5.2 billion in 2006.