The city Finance Department has implemented the use of computer software that speeds up the amount of time money is withdrawn from an account holder's check.
"It's going to reduce our banking costs and allow us to deposit our checks electronically so we're already getting a faster return on our deposits and their being available," said Suzanne Dean, the Acting Finance Director.
City accountant Leticia Diaz proposed the idea, said Dean, after learning the city could save thousands of dollars. The software program, RemitPlus by ProfitStars, allows staff to scan the checks and send the file to the bank electronically. This reduces the city's per check charge from 10 cents to 5 cents.
"This reduction is estimated to save the city $500 per month in banking fees not to mention the countless hours hand keying payments and adding checks by staff," said Dean.
The faster processing of checks is not expected to cause more checks to bounce for insufficient funds if the check writer is hoping for a delayed processing.
Dean explained that the city has an aggressive collection process in place for returned items thanks to our Revenue and Customer Service Supervisor Olga Mendoza. Her staff has perfected the process for identifying and collecting items that are returned, thus reducing returned items to an average of 15 per month.
"On average we process 7,000 checks each month," said Dean. "This equates to a .00214 percent return rate. Because of the policy that has been in place the past four years we have not seen any increase in the number of returned items nor do we anticipate that we will."