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Posted Date: 11/18/2005

Federal Agency Gets Printing Overhaul

By  Lindsay Elkins

The primary responsibility of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is to preserve and promote public confidence in the U.S. financial system. An independent agency of the federal government, it was founded in 1933 in response to the thousands of bank failures that swept the country in the 1920s and 1930s. Today, FDIC continues to insure deposits in banks and institutions, and limits the effects of a failed bank to the economy and financial systems. Yet until recently, the organization that's charged with easing public concerns in banking didn't have much faith in one of its own key IT systems: the teller transaction receipt printing process.

Necessary upgrade

FDIC, like many credit unions, had been using a dot matrix printing system to facilitate paper receipts. Not surprisingly, the dot matrix printers often caused paper jams and produced poor quality output. "Using a dot matrix printer was really painful," says Wilfred Morgan, chief technology officer at FDIC. Paper jams, in particular, were "a very time consuming and unpleasant experience."

In response, FDIC implemented an electronic receipt system using Integrated Media Management's (iMM) TotaleReceipts software, a New Jersey-based independent software vendor specializing in solutions for the financial industry, coupled with Star Micronics' TSP 800 thermal printer.

For FDIC, it was a natural fit. "We didn't actually look at other solutions for this because iMM software has a seamless integration with our core system," explains Morgan. According to Nish Shah, chief technology officer at iMM, the small footprint of the TSP800 thermal printer offers big advantages for FDIC, and any other financial institution. "In the teller world, especially in credit unions, the footprint is important because tellers have less space; they're normally cramped," Shah explains. The printer also features a drop in paper loading capability which, according to Shah, virtually eliminates paper jams.

Installation made easy

Much like choosing a solution, the installation process was quick, easy and virtually seamless. The TotaleReceipt product was initially set up on one computer with the TSP800 printer in a test area. Once employees gained a feel for the software, the solution was implemented throughout the credit union. "The beauty of our product is that if you have multiple branch institutions, certain tellers can come into our product and be parallel printing as they are migrating," notes Shah. "There is no downtime at all." And according to Morgan, the impact of the new solution was immediately noticed by its users. "When we did the installation, this was one where users really noticed the difference," he says. "This is usually a behind-the-scenes process, so you really don't see the impact immediately. With iMM's TotaleReceipts and Star Micronics' TSP800, you felt the impact."

FDIC federal credit union is very satisfied with the solution and has replaced every dot matrix printer with iMM's TotaleReceipts and Star Micronics' TSP800. "The cost of maintenance is much less compared to the traditional dot matrix printer," says Morgan. "The fact that we don't spend time fixing paper jams has more than paid for the solution."

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