Remote Deposit Capture (RDC) and Remote lockbox are just two innovations made possible by the passage of Check 21, which I touched upon in a prior article. Both RDC and Remote Lockbox will both deposit your checks electronically, and save you a trip to the bank. That being said, remote lockbox offers a bit more flexibility over RDC which I’ll explore below.

As mentioned previously, both channels will transmit images of your check payments to the bank for deposit, but with RDC the process essentially stops there. This means that for any payment you scan via RDC, you’re also going to have to manually record receipt of that payment in your accounts receivable system. This additional responsibility could get unwieldy for larger scanning volumes. With remote lockbox on the other hand, your lockbox provider can assist with the backend responsibilities of ensuring every remotely scanned item appears in the same AR import as your other lockbox payments. You scan into your lockbox, and later in the day you receive an AR import file with the prerequisite customer/invoice information corresponding to those payments.

Remote lockbox also enables you to leverage exception item processing for your remotely scanned items, and because all your over-the-counter payments are scanned into the same payment stream as your mail in remittance, images of both payment channels are accessible via your lockbox web interface, making payment research for over the counter transactions much more effective. Due to these advantages, remote lockbox promotes significantly more automation than RDC.

The backend responsibilities referenced above also serve as an additional cross-check for accuracy. If a customer employing a remote solution isn’t fastidious about how they store their checks post-scan, they run the risk of scanning that same check again. Duplicate check presentment (scanning the same payment for deposit twice) affects both RDC and remote lockbox customers, but with remote lockbox you have an additional layer of validation with your lockbox provider, as every check you scan is checked against your recent scanning history to ensure it wasn’t already scanned. These issues can then be corrected at the lockbox level before the deposit goes on to your bank. With RDC, you lose this additional validation layer, and the scanned duplicate deposit goes straight to your bank. If your bank doesn’t catch the duplicate, your customer might be dinged twice for the same payment, causing additional work to resolve and tarnishing customer satisfaction. Scan too many of these duplicates, and your ability to deposit remotely might be curtailed.

All this being said, conventional lockbox customers that receive a lot of over the counter payments (municipalities and healthcare providers come to mind) but also expect an AR file from their lockbox provider are prime candidates for remote lockbox. If you think your business might benefit from a remote lockbox implementation at Lighthouse Payment Services, Inc, let us know and we’d be happy to discuss options.