Transaction statements continue to serve an integral part of our financial lives. They serve as a permanent record, a reminder, and a reliable communication channel that doesn’t end up in an e-mail junk folder. However, printed transaction statements are not instant, and many of the larger financial firms are pushing their customers more aggressively than ever before to switch to electronic communication.
This trend is putting many financial transaction print providers in a quandary, as many of them are using older monochrome toner production printers that are nearing end of life. Downtime is common, due to advanced age and the large amounts of moving parts in toner engines. Multiple installations mean multiple maintenance contracts, repairs, etc. Multiple units mean lots of labor to load and unload paper, at a time during the COVID pandemic when we all desire less labor in our printing plants.
Additionally, the move to inkjet roll-fed printed color statements by the ultra-large transaction statement providers has put pressure upon medium and smaller transaction statement providers to also offer variable color data and graphics. Many of their customers, such as local credit unions and the like, are requesting color statements so they can look like the bigger banks they are competing with.
On top of this, the market for transaction statement volume has become more competitive, which in turn implied increasing price pressure. For years transaction providers have been offering static color for logos and corporate identity graphics through the use of pre-printed offset shells. Most of these offset shells were procured from commercial printers who had stronger economies of scale advantages in producing the offset color shells than transaction providers. The cost of these shells was a pass-through cost to the financial institutions, as was the associated cost of moving and managing all these shells. The cost of the two-step process of handling pre-printed offset shells and the monochrome toner imprinting of the variable data is increasingly becoming a burden, increasing the risk of a loss of business to competitive transaction providers who do offer variable color statements.
With the introduction of the BlueCrest EvoluJet, all of these challenges are being addressed. Unlike most roll-fed inkjet printers, it is the most efficient printing technology on the market today that doesn’t require $1M+ in investment. It offers potential cost savings of up to 40%, through the removal of multiple steps currently required with color offset shell imprinting.
An additional benefit not accounted for in the calculations is the ability to keep some of the revenue that once would have been passed through to the commercial printer for the color offset shells by being able to print color in-house on the same device that is printing the black text and data. This will boost transaction providers’ bottom line, even when they decide to share some of that benefit with the customer.
While individual transaction provider’s economics will very, it shouldn’t be difficult to calculate the efficiency savings by upgrading from cost-intensive multiple older monochrome toner printers to modern and efficient color production cut-sheet inkjet technology.
Add on top of this the ability to meet financial providers desire to be able to offer variable color data and text, and it likely to become for many transaction providers a compelling and quick decision to upgrade.
According to German-born American painter Hans Hoffmann: “the ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary can speak”. The BlueCrest EvoluJet may best express Hans Hoffman’s proxy for the modern transaction print provider.