Scanned documents are usually efficient to transmit, but large document files can be bothersome as they may be too big to email, or so big that downloading it takes minutes (or even hours, in extreme cases). This is obviously a productivity killer for industries such as the financial services, creating bottlenecks and delays in high-stakes workflows.
Any file compression method will reduce the file size of a document, but the caveat is the trade-off between document quality and the compression amount. In many cases, compressing files to a manageable size will result in a steep drop in quality, which is a no-go not only for regulatory compliance, but also general usage purposes. Mixed Raster Content (MRC) compression, however, uses algorithms that optimize the quality to compression ratio, making it ideal for compressing PDFs and other image documents.
How MRC Compression Works
Simply downsampling a scanned document reduces its size, but it also greatly reduces the quality of the images and text within the document — in other words, it is a lossy compression. MRC compression, on the other hand, provides superior compression by dividing a document into three layers: a binary mask layer, a foreground layer, and a background layer. The binary mask layer is a high resolution black and white layer of text and images. The foreground layer has a lower resolution consisting of text and images. The background layer also has a lower resolution, and consists of just images and the background, with no text.
Instead of using one algorithm to compress the whole document, MRC compression uses multiple algorithms to compress the separated layers independently. The resulting lossless compressed document consists of the same, if not higher, quality than the original document; as well as higher compression rate compared to other compression technology.
Foxit Software utilizes MRC compression in its PDF Compressor product. In addition to the regular features of MRC compression, PDF Compressor has additional optional functions such as picture detection. When using picture detection, all pictures are in a separate high-resolution layer that undergo an algorithm to maintain the quality of the images.
Benefits of MRC Compression for Financial Services
Compressing PDFs and other files with MRC compression increases the efficiency of the document as uploading it, sending it through email, and downloading it becomes faster and easier. Before utilizing Foxit’s PDF Optimizer, Chase Bank had to wait extensive amounts of time for documents to arrive over the network, leading to many wasted hours. After reducing the size of their mortgage documents, Chase was able to broaden their use to process as many as 1.25 billion pages a year. Employees were able to access necessary documents much quicker and service customers much sooner, making them far more efficient. Compressed documents have the added bonus of being easier to open on mobile as well, making it possible to conduct business on-the-go.
Chase Bank was also storing high volumes of mortgage documents, leading to extremely high storage and back-up costs. Especially considering that mortgage documents must be archived and accessible for 37 years, files quickly add up and storage costs can grow exponentially. By compressing files with MRC compression, you are reducing the costs of storing documents in the cloud or on local servers, thus reducing an organization’s network bandwidth costs.
Business Process Automation in Banking
MRC compression can improve the accuracy of OCR (Optical Character Recognition), as the text regions of a document undergo efficient detection algorithms during the compression process. The resulting compressed PDF can then be fed into a high-volume processing system that uses OCR to render documents machine-readable. With a platoon of fully text-searchable documents, employees can reallocate time spent manually searching for critical information to other more critical tasks.
MRC, coupled with OCR, optimizes your document processing model for document conversion and archiving. Accordingly, firms can automate their document processing workflow, increasing overall efficiency. Ensuring that their documents are converted to text-searchable PDFs also eliminates the need to have a plethora of software to access the different file types that a document can be saved as. To further enhance the capabilities of compressed and text-searchable PDFs, PDF/A conversion ensures the long-term preservation of vital documentation such as mortgage loans.
Contact us to Learn more.