Minnesota Credit Unions Leverage Latest Check Imaging Technology to Maximize Check 21 Benefits

OKLAHOMA CITY, May 31, 2005 – Advanced Financial Solutions (AFS), a Metavante company, and leading provider of image-enabled payment processing solutions to the financial services industry, today announced that Minnesota Item Processing Corporation (MnIPC) has added AFS’ branch capture solution, Direct Branch, and two new image replacement document (IRD) solutions, AFS Forward 21 and AFS Return 21, to its suite of Check 21 image-item processing offerings. The branch capture and IRD solutions are fully interfaced into MnIPC’s existing AFS ImageVision check imaging platform.

MnIPC, based in Bloomington, Minn., is a credit union service organization owned by the Minnesota Credit Union Network (MCUN) and several Minnesota credit unions. MnIPC offers advanced image item processing and back office operational services to 100 of Minnesota’s not-for-profit cooperative credit unions, and processed more than 50 million items for its credit union clients in 2004.

MnIPC is deploying AFS Direct Branch to improve branch transaction processing, trim courier costs, and reduce back office processing costs while optimizing the truncation-related benefits of the Check 21 Act. AFS Branch Capture enables MnIPC’s member credit unions to capture and balance deposited items, cashed checks, and payments, while electronically processing and truncating deposit slips and cash tickets. Items received from the member credit unions are streamlined with less paper and fewer errors, and transactions are processed earlier in the day.

"As a credit union service organization, the Minnesota Item Processing Corporation enables its members to combine resources to offer very sophisticated image-based item processing services at reduced costs," said Peter Skaalen, MnIPC’s chief operating officer. "We saw a strong business case for remote branch capture, full truncation with IRDs, and check image exchange early on. Branch capture, IRD Print and check image exchange through the Endpoint Exchange Network allow our member credit unions to avoid incurring the rising operating expenses related to ever-increasing transportation costs and poor funds availability."

MnIPC joined the Endpoint Exchange Network in early 2004, and member credit unions have been clearing and settling image-based payments through the country’s premier check image exchange network since June of 2004.

AFS Forward 21 is used to print forward collection IRDs that do not clear through the Endpoint Exchange Network. The printed IRD contains an image of both sides of the original check. Prior to the Check 21 Act, financial institutions were, in most cases, required to physically transport paper checks to payor banks. AFS Forward 21 determines which check images the presenting financial institution wants to convert to IRDs and forwards them as images and data to an approved print facility.

AFS Return 21 allows MnIPC to truncate 100 percent of the transit items and reduce the number of physical items by sorting them electronically and printing IRDs for the returned items. AFS Forward 21 and Return 21 can improve MnIPC’s bottom line by significantly reducing transportation and related costs.

"Minnesota Item Processing Corporation has been at the forefront of providing imaged item processing services to the credit unions in Minnesota for quite some time," said Gary Nelson, president, AFS. "The image capture and truncation of check transactions at the branch with electronic clearing and settlement through IRD and check image exchange empowers MnIPC’s member credit unions with the best possible solutions and tools to derive the full benefits of the Check 21 legislation."

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