Wells Fargo is using optical scanning and OCR to improve how their customers deposit checks in ATMs. No more empty envelope drawers and out-of-ink pens; now you just put all your checks and cash in a stack and insert it into the slot. The ATM automatically scans each one in, does optical character recognition to tell how much each is for and puts up a verification screen. After you correct the amounts, the machine will either spit out a receipt with a summary line for each transaction or a printed image of each scanned check. From their press release:
“With the new technology, you don’t need to spend time writing on an envelope or keying in a deposit amount. You just insert your money into a slot and the machine sorts, counts and verifies it,” said Jonathan Velline, head of Wells Fargo’s ATM Banking division. “Our Envelope-Free ATMs also converts paper checks into a digital image which then appears on the ATM screen and receipt, so you know your check was received. You can’t get this in the traditional envelope world.”
I used one of their machines in Alameda recently and it was pretty slick, though I had to insert each of my three checks individually since it couldn’t handle my differently-sized and somewhat wallet-wrinkled stack.