Travelex Saves Over £400k With Handwriting Recognition

Slough, England - 7 April 2005 - Travelex, the world's largest foreign exchange specialist, has installed a handwriting recognition system from financial systems specialist, BancTec Limited, to process the 1.5 million handwritten sales sheets it receives a year. The new system, located at the company's Peterborough headquarters, will save Travelex over £400,000 in the first year alone.

The BancTec system uses ICR (Intelligent Character Recognition) to process the 18% of sales sheets that are hand written by Travelex' overseas agents. Previously a team of 35 people was needed to complete the task, sorting and manually keying the details into the sales ledger. The sales sheets are DL-sized forms with customer details and a list of traveller's cheques along with their serial numbers.

"The new system has proven to be hugely efficient, freeing staff to work on more productive tasks," commented Simon Richardson, Commercial Operations Manager at Travelex. "We have also dramatically reduced reject rates and improved the accuracy of our sales ledger."

The BancTec system has a data accuracy of 99.9 percent, says Travelex. This increases customer satisfaction with the service and reduces risk. The software will reject sales sheets that are ambiguous, for "repair" by an administrator.

As part of the implementation, BancTec has provided Travelex with a digital archive of all sales sheets, reducing the cost of storing the originals. A full disaster recovery system has also been set up, located in Coventry.

According to James Silcock, Business Development Director at BancTec, the Travelex system is an ideal application for ICR technology. "ICR has come a long way and can now offer levels of accuracy not previously believed possible. It can cope with complex tasks and documents that otherwise require costly, manual input."

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