Remote deposit capture began less than a decade ago primarily as a means for large businesses and organizations to scan and deposit a large volume of checks to large financial institutions. My, how times have changed.
Today, RDC has evolved into remote image and data capture using a wide range of scanners — from high-end, multi-feed scanners to inexpensive, single-feed desktop scanners — as well as smartphone cameras using mobile apps. As a result, community financial institutions are now able to compete much more effectively against the big banks in the RDC arena.
This transformation was evident at the recent 2013 RDC Summit in Orlando, Fla., especially in the exhibit hall, which featured some of the leading companies with RDC and imaging solutions. WAUSAU Financial Systems, for example, showcased its Deposit 24/7 Suite, a comprehensive solution with risk-monitoring functionality that includes merchant, consumer and mobile capture points. Mitek Systems, a leader in imaging technology, offered its Mobile Deposit, which allows financial institutions to offer mobile RDC to both consumer and business customers. ProfitStars — which won the BankNews 2013 Innovative eBanking Solution Award for its iPay Solutions — was on hand to discuss Remote Deposit Complete, a Web-based, check-image capture, storage and processing solution that enables financial institutions to provide commercial customers the ability to electronically deposit a wide variety of paper checks. And Cummins Allison and CTS North America announced a new partnership agreement under which Cummins Allison will market the CTS LS Series scanners. (Visit the BankNews digital edition for expanded product coverage.)
Moving from the exhibit area to the sessions, a record number of attendees learned more about corporate applications, retail bank transformation, risk management, data automation and compliance. But one of the key topics was how to monetize RDC for consumer customers.
The focus to this point has largely been on cost reduction through mobile transactions. According to a Javelin study, for example, the average financial institution can save $50 per annum per mobile banking customer if one in-person deposit is switched to a mobile deposit each month. Collectively, this amounts to $1.5 billion in annual savings for the banking industry.
In this new era of reduced revenue, saving money coupled with strengthening customer loyalty is important, even vital. In the view of Jim Marous, however, it is time to move from the current cost-reduction model to a revenue-enhancement model. Marous, senior vice president of business development at New Control and publisher of the Bank Marketing Strategy blog (http://jimmarous.blogspot.com/) spoke on the need to go “from free to fee” with remote deposit.
He pointed out that net interest margins are slim and fees continue to fall, but the importance of RDC is increasing exponentially. By 2016, for instance, the United States will have more than 190 million smartphone users, with 50 percent or more either using or planning to use mobile RDC. Moreover, the Aite Group reported recently that more than 50 percent of small businesses will have adopted mobile banking by 2015 — and some 27 million small businesses are in the United States. His message was clear: Monetize now because it may be too late to move from free to fee in two or three years.
Without question, a real opportunity exists to better serve customers, reduce costs and generate new revenue, but only if community banks seize the day and become more proactive. If you missed this year’s conference, you need to mark down this date on your calendar: 2014 RDC Summit, Sept. 30–Oct. 2, Las Vegas.
Michael Scheibach is executive editor of BankNews.
Copyright (c) November 2013 by BankNews Media