Remote Deposit Capture Archives

UW Credit Union is First to Tap the Mobile Browser for Remote Deposit Capture

By Jim Bruene on June 6, 2013 6:50 PM | Comments

imageimageThere are a few dozen financial institutions I follow closely for inspiration. And one of my favorites is University of Wisconsin Credit Union. The 180,000 member, $1.6 billion asset CU, always seems to be at the forefront.

Its latest feat: Remote deposit capture from the mobile web <>. That's not a typo. Mobile deposit capture WITHOUT a (native) app!

UWCU is the first in the world (as far as we can tell), that allows smartphone users to deposit checks right from the mobile web (see the CU's blog post for more info). The CU taps new controls in mobile browsers (iOS and Android) to operate the mobile camera to capture paper checks. Image processing and fraud detection technology is powered by Ensenta (with Mitek IP).

The in-house UWCU dev team so far has eschewed downloadable apps in favor of mobile-optimized designs that work cross platform. They are working towards full responsive design, so any user can visit the UWCU site from any size device and receive the optimal design, complete with touchscreen controls when applicable. They are targeting year-end completion for the full package.   

But as much as Eric Bangerter (VP Ecommerce & Internet Services) and his team believe in the mobile web, they plan to bow to member pressure and offer a simple native app so they have a presence in the app stores (note 1). As Bangerter notes in a recent interview at, "Not being in an app store today is kind of like not having a Google (search) result." 

Bottom line: I've been a huge believer in native apps. It's how legions of smartphone users have been trained to access services (see note 2). Many normal people don't even understand the "browser construct" in a mobile phone. That said, I see the logic in UWCU's approach. Like most businesses, they must prioritize their investments. And now that the mobile browser can tap the camera (and GPS), it makes sense to push its mobile power users to the mobile web. But I'm glad the CU is also creating a lightweight native app to satisfy the rest.


UW Credit Union's mobile-browser based deposit capture in action (4 June 2013)
Note: Watch the full 90-second demo posted in the UWCU online banking blog, Source Code.

 image       image   

1. The lack of a native app has seemingly not slowed down its mobile growth. The CU has 36,000 mobile users, an impressive 20% of its member base.
2. For more info, see our recent Online Banking Report: Digital & Mobile Wallets (published Feb 2013, subscription).


Fees: Regions Adds Time-Based Charge to Remote Deposits

By Jim Bruene on April 11, 2013 6:05 PM | Comments

image Retail bankers, we've had a sighting of that very rare bird, the North American Newfee. It was thought to have gone extinct in the fall of 2011, when anti-bankers shot down the last breeding pair, a malformed $5 debit card fee at Bank of America.

But surprise. Regions Bank has gone out on a limb and put a fee on the newest banking feature to sweep the nation, remote check deposit. And the bank didn't settle for the standard per-use fee (in trial at U.S. Bank), Regions got creative with a tiered price dependent on how fast you want the money (see note 1 for exact wording):

  • Immediate >>> 1% to 3% of check amount, with $5 minimum
  • Same night (8 pm cutoff) >>> $3 per check
  • Two days >>> $0.50 per check

There is also a potential $1 additional fee to temporarily raise your daily deposit limit to deposit a large check.

My take: I think Regions is smart to add fee(s) for the huge value mobile deposit delivers, though I think it would be better as part of a feature-laden bundle sold on a monthly subscription fee (note 2).

But tiered pricing is a novel idea worth trying. And I like the three options. But its probably too complicated for new users, at least the way it's presented in Regions FAQ (note 3). Also confusing matters, is the extra buck for checks larger than the user's limit. It's asking a lot for customers to decide among three options, especially when having to decipher jargon and timing rules such as "Funds are available during posting."  

image The multi-choice pricing scheme is an example of the paradox of choice. A theory (and direct marketing rule of thumb) that says you should keep choices to a minimum otherwise recipients become overwhelmed and just give up.

I think the bank would be better off starting with just two tiers, normal and expedited. Then introducing the third tier in v2.0 next year. 

But overall, congratulations to Regions for braving the unknown to see if this newfee has wings (note 6).


1. Here's how the fee is explained in the FAQ:


A somewhat better explanation is included on the mobile banking page:


2. For more info on fee-based banking services, our Online Banking Report on fee-based online services (subscription, May 2011).
3. Hopefully, the choices are better explained within the mobile user interface, which I was unable to see.
4. As expected, the initial reviews from Apple app users are harsh. Currently the bank has just a 1.5 star rating on the new version of the app containing mobile deposit. Down from 2 stars previously.  
5. Sorry for the prolonged bird metaphor. Sometimes you get bored at the keyboard (keybored?). It's also our second bird-themed post on fees. What's that about?
6. American Banker:


Feature Friday: Capital One 360 Offers Remote Check Deposit via Simple File Upload (no smartphone required)

By Jim Bruene on March 22, 2013 1:16 PM | Comments

image I don't know how I missed this small, but meaningful, improvement to the remote deposit state of the art. Since last April, Capital One 360 (formerly ING Direct) has allowed customers to make deposit via the mobile phone app, and (drum roll) via file upload.  

Yes, you heard it right. Simply snap a picture of the check (front and back), save the files, upload to CapOne360, and your deposit is complete (see screenshot below). That means check deposit is available to everyone, not just those with smartphones or scanners.

Does that mean more work for Capital One operations? Sure, processing an uploaded .jpg will take more time. But for the relatively low deposit volume of its savings-account-heavy base, it's probably not material. And the idea here is to get more deposits, not save on transaction costs.

Will there be more fraud? There will likely be more garbage (duplicate pictures, fuzzy images, and perhaps even a few suspicious attempts to deposit duplicate images). But will file uploads create a statistically significant amount of actual fraud losses? It seems unlikely, though I'm making an educated guess.

image Bottom line: The decision to accept any old .jpg was brilliant. Make it as easy as possible to do business with you. That's been a driving force behind ING Direct's success (that and the bouncing orange ball, RIP).

While it's not going to make our Digital Banking Hall of Fame (note 1), it's important enough to grab a belated OBR Best of the Web for "raising the bar" in remote banking (note 2). Nice work.


Capital One 360 landing page for its CheckMate remote deposit service (22 Mar 2013)

Capital One 360 checkmate remote depost landing page

Step 1: Users must enter check amount ($) and which account to deposit to (and optional memo)


Step 2: Interim instruction page


Step 3: Agree to the terms and conditions



Step 4: Choose images for front and back of check
Note: Example images, since I didn't have any checks on my machine


Step 5: Review images & click "Deposit Now"



1. The Digital Banking Hall of Fame is updated annually and published in our year-end Online Banking Report (subscription).
2.  Since 1997, our Online Banking Report has periodically given OBR Best of the Web awards to companies that pioneer new online- or mobile-banking features. It is not an endorsement of the company or product, just recognition for what we believe is an important industry development. In total, 89 companies have won the award. This is the second for Capital One (previous winner). ING Direct also won previously. Recent winners are profiled in the Netbanker archives.


Mobile Monday: USAA Taps the Mobile Camera for New Account Opening

By Jim Bruene on January 14, 2013 6:14 AM | Comments

USAA ipad app offers mobile check deposit The smartphone has already changed the way we work, communicate, find information, and behave. But it's had a limited role so far in bank-account opening (note 1).

But leave it to USAA, the pioneering bank for all things mobile (note 2) to lead the way again. First reported this week in American Banker, USAA is testing the use of "blank check" capture to make it easier for certain new customers (note 3) to make their initial deposit (note 4).

Customers can snap a picture of a blank check from their old account and then enter the amount to be transferred electronically (note 5). It's not really any faster, actually probably slower, than simply typing in a checking account and routing number (twice). But given how frustrating data entry can be on a mobile, some users will love it.

More importantly, it introduces users immediately to mobile capture and removes one more barrier to getting that first deposit on the books. And it makes USAA look cool.


1. At Finovate, we've seen the mobile camera used in a number of interesting ways. oFlows (now a part of Andera), wowed the crowd in 2009/2010 with various paperless account-opening and -processing technologies (for example, check out its FinovateSpring 2010 "Best of Show" demo).
2. USAA launched mobile remote deposit 18 months before any other major bank and a full 3 years before Bank of America (see our 2009 post).    
3. Only certain USAA members are eligible to use mobile deposit (generally, those with military service or their family members who have acceptable credit).
4. Unfortunately, USAA doesn't yet support full mobile account opening. New customers must first go online and establish a new account and register a username and password. Then they must go to USAA mobile banking, log in, then take a picture of the blank check. Furthermore, only certain USAA members are eligible to use mobile deposit.
5. In the United States, the funds are moved via ACH, a little-understood system that banks could do a better job explaining to customers. See a rundown of the mysteries of ACH from the customer's standpoint in this enlightening Deposit Account post from yesterday.


PSECU's Remote Deposit Honor System Has Processed $1.4 Billion with Only $74,000 in Losses

By Jim Bruene on July 7, 2011 11:34 AM | Comments

image Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ones. Ten years ago PSECU launched the Upost@home deposit service. It allows members to manually enter their deposits in the CU's online banking system for immediate credit, then mail them to the CU in a postage-paid envelope.

obr_bestofweb The service, launched in late 2001, was little publicized outside of PSECU's member base during the first two years. We first heard about it in late 2003 when a second credit union licensed the service. We gave it our highest honor, an OBR Best of the Web award (note 1), one of only five given during the post-bubble dark days of bank-tech innovation (2001 through 2004).

At the time, it seemed an almost crazy idea. An online/offline honor system for deposits. But the CU knew what it was doing. It limited the amount that could be deposited and which members were allowed to use the service.

Now the results speak for themselves (see annual totals in table below):

4.5 million items deposited worth $1.4 billion (avg. of $310 per check)
$74,000 in losses
= 0.0053% loss rate (0.5 basis points)
or 1.6 cents per item

Upost has turned into the least loss-prone method of accepting deposit, including the branch!

Another interesting data point: The CU is processing almost 50,000 Upost@home deposit items per month, about one per month per member enrolled in the service, a pace that's stayed remarkably consistent over time.

Bottom line: We've listed PSECU's Upost@home on our annual list of top online/mobile innovations of all time (it was ranked #24 of those invented in the past 10 years and #42 of all time). But in terms of "bang for your buck," it's probably in the top-5.


Source: PSECU, 5 July 2011


1. The original article published in Online Banking Report (OBR #103) is reprinted in the Netbanker archives here.
2. The list of top innovators was published in OBR #188.


U.S. Bank Launches Both PC and Mobile Remote Deposit

By Jim Bruene on March 15, 2011 7:11 PM | Comments

I was surprised to see the news release that U.S. Bank had upgraded its Firethorn-powered mobile banking app to include mobile remote deposit. I've been following the development of the bank's PC-scanner-based remote deposit option which also launched yesterday, and I'd never seen the mobile option mentioned (previous post). 

True to form, when I logged in to my account online and clicked on the "Make a Deposit (New)" link, there was still no mention of the mobile option. However, I was greeted with the news that I was now eligible to use the bank's new PC scanner-based program at a cost of $0.50 per deposit.

I went through the simple online enrollment process (see below), but didn't test an actual deposit because I don't have a scanner attached to my laptop.

Bottom line: Congratulations to US Bank for being the second major bank to support both mobile and PC-based consumer remote deposit, trailing just USAA which launched PC-remote deposit in Dec. 2006 and the mobile version in Aug. 2009. Chase also offers mobile consumer remote deposit (launched in July 2010)  but does not offer a consumer PC-based service.


How it works

1. Select "Make a Deposit" link on left

US Bank online deposit landing page (15 March 2011)

2. Enrollment
Users must enter their email address, agree to the terms, and answer the following three usage questions:

Enrollment questioinaire US Bank

3. Select "Get Started" on main deposit page

Main deposit page US Bank

4. Choose account to deposit to

Step 1: Choose account to deposit to at US Bank 

5. Enter check details


6. Error message requesting Java be downloaded



U.S. Bank Set to Launch Fee-Based Remote Deposit Capture for Retail Customers March 14

By Jim Bruene on February 21, 2011 12:48 PM | Comments (4)

image Five months after we first spotted the link (see previous post, note 1), U.S. Bank is telling online banking users that they'll be able to use the new PC-based, remote-deposit function on March 14. Customers will use standard all-in-one scanner/printers to submit checks.

The bank has decided to launch with a $0.50 per-item fee for retail customers. While I'm all for fees for value-adds, my response is mixed on this one.

The fee makes sense in many ways:

  • Value: The customer receives a very real time savings here, and many would burn that much in gas, driving over to a branch. So $0.50 sounds pretty reasonable.
  • Changing perceptions: It's good to start weaning customers off the belief that every new feature is provided free of charge.
  • Fairness: Customers that use the service, pay for its costs. That's fair pricing for everyone.
  • Optional: No one has to use the service; there are acceptable free (branch, ATM) or lower-cost (mail) alternatives for most customers.

But here's what's bothering me about it: 

  • Sends the wrong message about self-service: If the bank starts charging a dollar or even fifty cents to deposit an item in the branch, then the online fee makes perfect sense. But if the same service is free in the branch, I think it sends the wrong message to online users.
  • Discourages trial: For nearly all potential customers, this is new and unproven technology. They at least need a free trial to get a feel for it.
  • Is it worth the trouble? If U.S. Bank gets 50,000 items remotely deposited per month, the bank nets $300,000 per year in fee income. Would a free service save more than that in labor, while introducing the timesaver to far more customers, perhaps even driving some new accounts?

Bottom line: While it will cut usage dramatically, a fee makes sense if you want to add a new feature without increasing bank costs. And evidently, U.S. Bank doesn't believe the higher number of deposits garnered by a free service would save enough labor to overcome the lost fee revenue. So the pros must outweigh the cons.

Nevertheless, I'd prefer to see remote deposit bundled together with several other value-added features for a small monthly fee, e.g., $2.95 for a "power user" electronic account.  

Kudos to U.S. Bank for making remote deposit available to retail customers. I look forward to trying it, but given how much trouble I've had with my all-in-one scanner over the years, I am much more likely to become an active user of a smartphone version. 

U.S. Bank's Make a Deposit page inside the secure online banking area (20 Feb. 2011)

U.S. Bank's Make a Deposit page inside the secure online banking area (20 Feb 2011)


1. The service has been piloted in several states, so I'm assuming that's why it's been on the menu.

Comments (4)

US Bank Adds Remote Deposit Capture to Online Banking Menu

By Jim Bruene on August 16, 2010 4:54 PM | Comments (1)

imageI saw a new option today when I logged in to my U.S. Bank account:

Make a Deposit

Clicking on the link brings up a screen (see below) promising that DepositPoint, a desktop-scanner-based service, is "Coming Soon!"

From the little info provided, I can see that it's targeted to home users using existing equipment (all-in-one printer/scanners) and allows checks to be deposited through 6 PM central time for (I assume) same-day credit.

The webpage shown below is the only info available. There's nothing posted on pricing, when it will launch, or other terms and conditions. And a search for "depositpoint" on the main website comes up empty. Interested customers are asked to "please stay tuned to this page for more exciting information!" While not exactly state-of-the-art lead capture, at least the bank is getting the word out (note 1).

In other news, PayPal moved one step closer to becoming a bank/credit union replacement with the revelation that it will add remote deposit capture to its iPhone app later this year.

U.S. Bank online banking primary navigation (16 August 2010)


1. I'm putting this in the footnote since it's not the focus of this post. But seriously, U.S. Bank, this is the best you could come up with from a design and copywriting standpoint? It looks like a webpage from 1996. All that's missing is the "under construction" sign. How about some color? Graphics? Links to an FAQ? This is a great development, but the customers drawn to this page from the "NEW" button are unlikely to be impressed.

Comments (1)

Mobile Remote Deposit Capture by the Numbers (thanks USAA)

By Jim Bruene on July 20, 2010 10:59 PM | Comments

image I love it when first movers decide to brag about their results. For years, Bank of America has released frequent updates on the size of its online/mobile-banking user base (June 2008 figures). Given the bank's massive market share, those figures are a great help in sizing the entire U.S. market.

USAA is now doing the same for the fledgling consumer-remote-check-deposit market. USAA was the first major financial institution to introduce the service a year ago. Earlier this month, Chase Bank became the second major bank to offer mobile capture.

In a press release last week, the direct banking giant said that more than 1.5 million checks, worth $930 million, an average of $620 per item, had been deposited through its mobile remote deposit app released last summer. Mobile accounts for about one-third of the bank's consumer remote-capture volume. The online version, introduced in late 2006, still outnumbers mobile volume 2 to 1.

USAA's banking division has 5 million customers in total.

Here's a quick summary of USAA remote-deposit stats:

     1.5 million checks deposited via mobile app (35% of total)
     2.8 million checks submitted via online/scan remote capture (65% of total)
  = 4.3 million total remotely deposited checks (100%)

The current run-rate for mobile-deposited checks is now 2.5 million items annually worth more than $1.6 billion.

The bank also said that 95% of all checks are deposited without a teller. The bank did not provide a breakout of how many non-teller checks came through remote scanning vs. mail.


Chase Adds Mobile Remote Deposit Capture and P2P Payments to its iPhone App

By Jim Bruene on July 3, 2010 10:53 AM | Comments (2)

imageChase Bank rolled out a major new release to its iPhone app on Thursday (v. 2.3.1) with the addition of both remote deposit capture and peer-to-peer (P2P) payments (see inset). Chase is the first to support both those important features in its mobile app (note 1). This post covers remote deposit, and I'll look at the P2P feature later.

How it works
I had been looking forward to depositing a check via the magic of the iPhone. But sadly, despite following the directions and capturing a good image of the front and back of the check, the software failed to scan the amount correctly (see screenshot 7).

The Chase app said the check scanned in at $0, despite it being a printed $200 check. I was testing with my trusty version 1 iPhone (circa 2007), which may not have a sharp enough camera. I'll try it on a newer iPhone and update the post. 

Here's the process for new users (click on the thumbnails to view larger versions):

1. The Chase Quick Deposit service has been added to the main navigation bar across the bottom.

2. Customers agree to terms and conditions. Note: The service is limited to $1,000 per day and no more than $3,000 per month, eliminating many businesses as potential users.

3. On the first screen, users enter the dollar amount of the check.

4. The app provides instructions on how to successfully capture the check image.

5. Take pictures of the front and back of the check.

6. Double check image quality.

7. Error message saying that the dollar amount from the scan ($0) did not match the amount entered ($200).

Summary: Despite the glitch on my first deposit attempt, I'm glad to see Chase moving the mobile state-of-the-art forward. I'm sure we'll see remote deposit added to most major mobile banking apps in the near future.

1. Signup screen           2. Customer agreement  3. Enter amount

image    image    image

4. Hints on image capture   5. Photograph the check front and back

image    image

6. View photo results                             7. Error message

image       image

1. USAA was the first major bank with mobile remote deposit, launching it in Sep. 2009; while WV United FCU was the very first with it almost exactly one year ago.
2. For more on mobile banking and payments, see the most recent issue from Online Banking Report.

Comments (2)

Chase Bank Offering Small Business Clients $2,000 in Free Remote Deposit Capture Services

By Jim Bruene on June 15, 2010 6:26 PM | Comments (1)

image Two thousand is the largest banking premium I've ever seen, although Chase's out-of-pocket costs are probably less than $500. The offer was made last week via email (see first screenshot) to existing business-banking customers not already enrolled in Chase Quick Deposit, a scanner-based remote check-deposit service.

The details:


From: Chase Bank 
To: Business Banking clients
Date: 10 June 2010 (1 PM)

Offer: Two years of free remote deposit services (Chase Quick Deposit), normally $50/mo, plus the $855 Panini 50-50 business-class scanner to power it. Total retail value = $2,055 

Fine print:
-- Users must deposit at least 10 checks per month to maintain fee-free service
-- New Quick Deposit users only; not valid for current or previous users
-- $500 cancellation fee if discontinued within 12 months
-- Offer good through July 31, 2010

Notes: This offer does not appear to be available to the general public. On the bank's website, the current offer is a free scanner with a 2-year contract at $50/mo.


Analysis: It's definitely attention-getting and will drive new remote-deposit business. But I'm a bit surprised Chase is giving away both the razor and the blades (see note 1). Perhaps the bank is testing different offers. But it will be two years before Chase finds out what percentage of its users convert to paying customers. Of course, they are also banking on an account-retention lift to repay the significant cost of the offer.   

Email from Chase offering free remote deposit services (10 June 2010, 1 PM)


Landing page


Users accepting the offer must first log in to their account to enroll


1. Offer made to a single-service (DDA) small business checking client converted from WaMu.
2. For more info, see Online Banking Report: Micro- and Small Business Online Banking (published Oct. 2009)

Comments (1)

USAA Makes Mobile Banking Better than Online Banking

By Jim Bruene on March 3, 2010 6:06 PM | Comments (4)

image Here's a test that tells you when you've built a successful mobile app:

  1. Place your laptop next to your iPhone/Android
  2. Choose a task
  3. Reach for the device that's easiest to use for that task 

If you don't reach for the mobile phone first, you still have work to do on the user experience. 

I've always chosen the laptop for banking, even though I've ported more than a dozen other routine tasks to the iPhone (note 1). The hassle of logging in with those tiny iPhone keys pushes me to the laptop. But as of Tuesday, USAA's latest iPhone app, version 2.2, has changed the equation, and there's no looking back. 

Mobile vs. online banking
The key to making mobile a profitable channel is to make the user experience BETTER than online. And USAA is the only U.S. financial institution doing that today.

USAA's biggest mobile "wow" is mobile check deposits (see Deposit@Mobile screenshot below) introduced six months ago for the iPhone. While it may not seem novel to those in the industry familiar with scanner-based remote deposits, the average consumer considers an iPhone check deposit to be almost magical. Other than a few small credit unions, no other major banking competitor offers it, so USAA continues to own mobile magic.  

imageBut with Bank of America rumored to be readying a launch mobile deposits, which will no doubt be featured in Apple TV ads, (see latest one here), USAA needs to keep innovating. 

And this week, USAA delivered with a single-PIN login with authentication powered by VeriSign VIP service. The optional 4-digit sign-on process is available now on the iPhone and will be available in April for Android and "shortly thereafter" for Blackberry (note 2).

In a time when it's more tedious and less secure to log in online, USAA takes us back in time to a simpler day, when you could log in with just a few digits.

And by using techniques that authenticate the mobile phone during login, the bank says that mobile access is more secure than online.

Think about that for a moment. Mobile is MORE SECURE than online. With tens of millions of customers deathly afraid of logging in via their virus-laden PCs, imagine what that could do for mobile adoption.

It will take time to educate the market. Currently, most consumers believe the mobile channel is far less secure. But if they can be convinced the opposite is true, many will kiss online banking goodbye forever.

1. According to yesterday's release, USAA has 1.3 million mobile users, 17% of its 7.4 million customer base.
2. Previously, USAA users were required to sign on with username, password and PIN. The simple sign-on process is optional for those not trusting the simpler process.
3. For more info on financial services opportunities on the iPhone, see our March 2009 Online Banking Report.

Comments (4)

Another Bank Unleashes Remote Deposit for the iPhone: Royal Bank America

By Jim Bruene on January 7, 2010 6:33 PM | Comments (1)

image Another bank is about to join USAA (post), WV United FCU  (post), and Randolph-Brooks FCU (post) in the smartphone-enabled deposit sphere. Royal Bank America, a $1.3 billion (asset) Philadelphia-area institution, is in final testing of its new deposit-taking iPhone app called RoyalRDC (iTunes link).

image The new app appeared in Apple's iTunes store on Monday, but currently the bank is accepting only beta testers (see screenshot below). The app, said to be coming "within weeks," allows a check to be deposited within 30 seconds using any model iPhone.

The bank is currently promoting the benefits of remote deposit on its home page (see screenshot below). Not only can RDC users skip the trip to the branch, they have 2 additional hours to make a deposit for same-day credit (6 PM instead of 4 PM). That's an enticing additional benefit nicely highlighted through the shaded-clock image below. 

Royal Bank America homepage (7 Jan. 2010)
Note: This is the homepage view after refreshing the page once; yellow highlight is mine.


Royal Bank call for beta testers (link)


Note: For more info on mobile banking on the iPhone, see our March Online Banking Report.

Comments (1)

Numbers: Remote Deposit Penetration at Randolph-Brooks FCU

By Jim Bruene on November 6, 2009 9:35 AM | Comments

image In an article in today's Austin Business Journal about the coming launch of mShift-powered mobile remote deposit at Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union, the CU revealed its penetration number in its EasCorp-powered, home-scanner-based service, eDeposits:

Total members: 300,000
Total checking account customers: 202,000
% of checking using remote deposit: 5%
Number of remote deposit users: 10,000 (derived)
% of members using remote deposit: 3+% (derived)

The San Antonio, TX-based credit union expects more mobile users than in-home users. The product, which debuted at Finovate on Sep. 29, is currently being tested with employees before it rolls out to select customers.

imageUSAA was the first major financial institution to launch mobile remote deposits in August.  But WV United beat them to market in July earning our OBR Best in the Web award. And this week, speaking at BAI Retail Delivery, Bank of America's Doug Brown was bullish on the feature, leading many to believe that the giant would add the feature to its mobile offering at some point (see note). And if that happens, it's not inconceivable the feature could show up in television commercials, either from BofA or Apple.

1. In response to an audience question after his presentation, Brown said that the bank was seeing 1 million envelope-free deposits made at ATMs every day, and "there was an obvious use-case in mobile". Note that he did not specifically say, or even directly imply, that BofA would launch it, but he also didn't dismiss the idea. 


Pitney Bowes Goes After Remote Deposit Capture Market with Email to Postage-Meter Clients

By Jim Bruene on July 22, 2009 4:53 PM | Comments (3)

image Pitney Bowes (PB) hit me with a cross-sale message this morning, and surprisingly it was for a banking service, remote deposit capture (see email below). Because we already do ACH transactions through PB to load our postage meter, it's something I would consider buying from them, especially since our business bank does not offer RDC.  

The service called Click Deposit (note 1) works with any bank or credit union checking account and is powered by Jack Henry ProfitStars. The cost runs $39.95 to $149.95 per month, depending on volume. You get up to 150 monthly scans at the lower level and 1,000 at the high end. Buyers must sign a nine-page contract (PitneyBowes_RDC_app.pdf), committing to the service, and leased scanner, for 36 months.

Because I don't want to lock us in at $500/yr for three years, I think we'll pass on this deal. Hopefully, we'll be able to tap a lower-cost iPhone-based service in the near future, such as that offered by WV United FCU (see previous post).  

Email from Pitney Bowes (22 July 2009, 9:36 AM Pacific)


Landing page (link)


1. Although, Jack Henry announced the relationship in May (press release), I found no mention at the main Pitney Bowes site ( or the services site (, so this may be a marketing test.  

Comments (3)

Addison Avenue Credit Union Provides Secure VIP Access Powered by VeriSign

By Jim Bruene on July 21, 2009 6:03 PM | Comments

image A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to tour the British Museum's exhibit on the history of money. And one thing that remains the same throughout the millennia, a concern about the security and authenticity of the various objects used to convey wealth.

It's no surprise that security is the number-one online banking concern of today's consumer. Had there been market research three thousand years ago, I'm sure security would have been at the top of the list of fears of the Chinese rich enough to hold a cache of cowrie shells (inset).  

imageSo, until we figure out a way to eradicate crime, financial institutions need to address security concerns head-on and provide tools for consumers to take more control (note 1).

That's what I love about Addison Avenue FCU's launch of VeriSign's Identity Protection (VIP) security tokens. Addison Avenue members now have the tools to make their online banking extremely secure, should they desire to. And with set-up charges of $30 to $48 (waived for mobile) and an annual fee of $10 (waived the first year), the program is relatively self-funding (screenshots below).

As an added bonus, the "VIP Access" theme, even though it's powered by a security vendor, provides a nice boost to member relations. It also gives the CU an iPhone (link to app) and Blackberry presence it wouldn't otherwise have. 

Addison Avenue e2: The VeriSign program is one leg of a three-part effort dubbed E2, that the credit union launched today (press release; see third and fourth screenshots below).

The three core features:

  • VIP security: as outlined above (link)
  • E-deposit: remote check deposit via basic in-home scanner (link)
  • Mobile banking: mobile web-based (link)

Addison Avenue security key landing page (link, 21 July 2009)
A short informational video brings the service to life.


VIP token options shown on VeriSign's website


Addison's three-part "e2" effort is highlighted on its homepage


E2 landing page (from homepage)


1. Granted, most customers are not willing to spend the extra effort to bulletproof their accounts.  So extreme security measures such as this should be optional and carry a nominal extra fee. 
2. For more info on addressing security concerns, see our Online Banking Report on Security Marketing (published in 2005) and our more recent Online Banking Report on New Security Techniques published nine months ago.


WV United Federal Credit Union is First with iPhone-based Remote Check Scan & Deposit

By Jim Bruene on July 12, 2009 5:37 PM | Comments (2)

imageIn June, we reported on USAA's upcoming iPhone app that will support remote check deposits. But it looks like they were beaten to market by tiny WV United FCU headquartered in Charleston, WV. Haven't heard of WV United? They have just six employees, $11 million in assets, and 3,000 members.

But somehow they were able to pull off something that no other financial institution has yet to accomplish, accepting paper check deposits via a native iPhone application (iTunes link, see note 1 and 2). The application was added to the iPhone App Store on July 4, and the CU wasted no time in heralding the innovation with a homepage banner (see screenshot below).

imageThe application could not be simpler. Users take a picture by pressing the button on the left (see inset), verifying that the image is readable, then uploading with the button on the right. WV United uses the member's mobile phone number to apply it to the correct account. The latest iPhone OS 3.0 is required.

The credit union also accepts deposits via in-home scanners using secure file transfers powered by LeapFile (co-branded site here).

It appears both services simply send images to the credit union where an employee manually converts them to ACH items. According to the E-Deposit customer agreement, the first 10 items each month are free; a $1 fee per item for the remainder of the month is charged. This allows for collection of a bit of fee revenue from small business members, while enabling most consumers to use it free of charge.

Certainly, fraud possibilities exist. But the CU's normal deposit-processing controls should mitigate most of the risk (see E-Deposit funds availability policy here). 

Mitek Systems introduced a mobile remote-deposit system last year (post here), but it's not yet in production at any financial institutions. 

imageAnalysis: Although not a feature that will see widespread usage, mobile check deposits will prove convenient for certain customers, especially mobile small businesses. More importantly, it helps differentiate between online and mobile services.

So, for raising the bar in mobile banking, we are awarding WV United with our first OBR Best of the Web award for 2009 (note 3). In the 12 years we've given the award, WV United is by far the smallest financial institution to win. 

WV United FCU homepage with iPhone banner (11 July 2009)


iPhone app landing page (link)


1. Sometimes it's nice to be small. WV United has six employees total, according to NCUA data. Most large banks would have a project team larger than that just to do the feasibility study on mobile remote-deposit capture.
2. For more info on the importance of iPhone applications for financial services, see our recent full report: Online Banking Report: Mobile Banking via the iPhone.
3. OBR Best of the Web awards are given periodically to companies that pioneer new online and mobile banking features. It is not an endorsement of the company or product, just recognition for what we believe is an important development. WV United is the 74th recipient of the designation since we began awarding it in 1997.

Comments (2)

Failure to Launch? Consumer Remote Deposit Posts Very Slow Growth

By Jim Bruene on April 15, 2009 7:18 PM | Comments (5)

image_thumb10_thumb2Two-and-a-half years after USAA was first to offer remote deposit capture to consumers via standard scanners (post here), it appears the technology has failed to gain much of a following outside business circles (notes 1,2).

Quoted this month in Digital Transactions magazine (PDF here, pp. 58-62), John Leekley, founder of, estimates that only 75,000 consumers (and apparently 1 cat, see inset) use the service, less than 0.001% of all U.S. households.

Some other numbers from the article by Jane Adler:

  • After 14 months, EasCorp, a CUSO out of Burlington, MA, has just 24,000 registered users across its 30 credit union installations, or 800 per CU (see previous post)
  • Other EasCorp metrics:
    • Average deposited check = $900
    • Average deposits per session = $1,200
    • Total amount deposited in past 14 months = $80 million
    • At $900 per item, that amounts to about 90,000 checks processed, or about 4 per end-user
    • Cost per deposit for CU clients is $0.25 per item for "higher volume" customers
  • The initial experience at First Command Bank is more encouraging: Since launching in November, First Command Bank has registered 1,600 users for its Deposits on Command across its online customer base of 65,000, for a 2.5% penetration rate (note 3). First Command has a total of 85,000 customers online and offline, so the overall penetration rate is about 2%.
    • Total remote deposits per month are 1,200; slightly under 1 per registered user per month
    • There is no fee for the service, but you must be an estatement user or have an investment account to qualify. Daily deposit limit = $5,000

First Command Bank homepage (14 April 2009)
Remote deposit capture (Deposit on Command) is one of two items that rotate in the top banner-ad slotĀ  image_thumb1_thumb1

1. We are referring here to CONSUMER remote deposit, not to be confused with the very successful business remote deposit.
2. In the same article, Fiserv was cited as projecting growth to 1 million users by the end of 2009, although there was no indication as to when the prediction was made or whether it included business users.
3. If Bank of America had similar usage, it would be well on its way towards 1 million registered users (625,000).
4. Photo from CheckFree/Fiserv

Comments (5)

EFT Network Inc. Launches Remote Deposit Capture via Fax

By Jim Bruene on January 13, 2009 6:29 PM | Comments

imageRemote deposit capture (RDC) via mobile phone has to be the coolest way to make paper checks disappear from your office and reappear in your account. But from a usability standpoint, it leaves something to be desired, limiting its appeal to geeks with a check to deposit every once in a while. 

Businesses with several checks or more every week need something more convenient and easy to use. Proprietary scanners connecting to PC-based software apps work well, but require installation and training, not to mention $30+ per month in service fees.

image Enter FAXTellerPLUS, a new solution from Hawthorn, NY-based EFT Network, that uses the common fax machine for the input mechanism. The bank runs the software on its end freeing the user to get back to their business once the fax transmits.

Today's press release says the four banks using the system are processing "thousands of transactions per month."

How it works:

  1. Bank sends customers a special sleeve that holds up to 3 checks to be transmitted and includes info on the customer so deposit can be directed to the correct account.
  2. Customer transmits the check (front and back) to the bank via standard fax machine.
  3. Bank sends confirmation back to customer via fax or email.
  4. Funds are deposited in customer's account and images viewable online.

If this works as billed, it could put RDC into the hands of micro- and small-businesses as well as consumers with access to fax machines at home or work. If any readers have used or tested the system, please let me know your experience by commenting here or emailing.


Digital Federal Credit Union and Four Others Offer Consumer Remote Deposit Capture Through EasCorp

By Jim Bruene on April 13, 2008 9:23 PM | Comments (4)

VIP Deposit from Sharon Credit Union USAA is no longer the only financial institution offering consumers the ability to deposit paper checks from the comfort of home using standard home scanning technology (see previous coverage here).

image Through DepoZip, a new offering from Massachusetts-based corporate credit union, EasCorp, five northeastern credit unions have recently begun offering remote deposit capture services for their members. In addition, Austin, TX-based Randolph-Brooks FCU is slated to launch it later this spring.

According to its published prices, the cost is $15,000 to implement the program ($5,000 for the license and $10,000 for training), then $100/mo plus $0.40 per active user plus $0.01 per its plus applicable image processing fees which range from $0.03 to $0.14 per item. Compared to manually handling deposits at the teller window, that's a bargain. 

The service was piloted beginning in August last year and launched in November at Sharon Credit Union (see inset image) and Hanscom Federal Credit Union. The latest to roll it out is 300,000 member Digital Federal Credit Union. 

Company HQ Size Service Name Launch Date
Sharon CU Sharon, MA $590 mil assets VIP Deposit (Virtual Item Processing) Nov 2007
Hanscom FCU Bedford, MA $280 mil assets Easy Deposit Nov 2007 (pilot began Aug 2007)
Service CU Portsmouth, N.H. $1 billion assets   Dec 2007
Paragon FCU Montvale, NJ $390 mil assets
62,000 members
eDeposit Jan 2008
Digital FCU Marlborough, MA 320,000 members; 150,000 banking online PC Deposit Feb 2008
(2000 members enrolled in first 3 weeks; pilot began Aug 2007)
Randolph-Brooks FCU San Antonio, TX $3 billion assets
250,000 members
  coming in late spring
Comments (4)

Deposit Paper Checks via Mobile Phone?

By Jim Bruene on April 1, 2008 6:40 PM | Comments (8)

imageimageJudging by the title and the date of this post,  you might think it a prank.

But no, Mitek Systems has actually developed software that lets you deposit paper checks by taking their picture with your mobile phone and transmitting the images to your bank. The company has a good demo of the service on the product page.

The company first demo'd it to bankers at BAI's Transpay in early February (press release here). I wasn't there but I heard it was a must-see on the trade show floor.

Here's how it works:

  • Call up the app on your phone (first-time users would need to download the app from the bank)
  • Log in
  • Enter the amount of the check
  • Take a photo of the front of the check
  • Wait for the software to optimize the photo
  • Take a photo of the back of the check
  • Wait for the software to optimize the photo
  • Transmit it to the bank
  • Receive a confirmation message from the bank

I'll admit, I didn't see this one coming. And I still can't decide if it's a good idea. On the one hand, it's cool and innovative and allows you to do something on your mobile that you really can't do on your PC (although a digital camera hooked to your PC could do the same thing). I could imagine a smaller service business with just a couple checks per month using it. The photo documentation of the deposited check would be handy to have and a dedicated check scanner is too pricey (note 1).

But for consumers? Not many would go through this much trouble to deposit a check. It would be easier to drop it in an ATM, the mail, or walk it into their branch during lunch hour. And no major business can use it. Biz owners don't want their bookkeepers snapping photos of customer checks with their Razr. 

If you have a massive tech budget, it might be worth the cost to demonstrate that you are the leading innovator in your market. Or if your mobile banking vendor can deliver this capability within a larger mobile banking system for little or no extra cost, give it some thought.

But if your are already behind on your 2008 plan, your budget fits on the display of an eight-digit calculator, or you are still haven't gotten around to creating an iPhone button for your bank, this is not the project for you.

Let me know what you think.  


1. CheckFree or USAA's system using existing home scanners might work better for most small- or micro-businesses.

Comments (8)

Playing the Environmental Card with Remote Deposit Capture: Green Calculator from BankServ

By Jim Bruene on March 13, 2008 6:15 PM | Comments

imageWhile you don't want to overdo it and look like a hypocrite (see note 1), there's nothing like a little green to spruce up your marketing this time of year. BankServ lets users see just how much they can save by uploading checks to the bank over the Net instead of hightailing over to the branch in their Hummer (note 2).

In my case, I'm only going to save a half barrel of oil per year by forgoing those branch visits. Less, if it ever stops raining and I can get back to biking to the branch. It sounds more impressive in terms of CO2 emissions saved: 200 pounds.

It's a nice tool. Financial institutions could also use similar calculators to show the green benefits of paying bills online, receiving electronic statements, or anything else that cuts down on waste.

Note the URL:

BankServ fuel saving CO2 calcultor


1. The term is new to me, but my friends over at Javelin Strategy blogged about greenwashing this week. In short, it means misleading consumers about the extent of your eco-friendly practices.


CheckFree to Enable In-home Remote Check Deposits for Consumers and Small Businesses

By Jim Bruene on February 5, 2008 12:23 PM | Comments (4)

Link to USAA's Bank@Home Although, remote deposit capture has captured a significant share of larger businesses, consumers have had fewer options:

  • USAA has offered in-home scanning, called Deposit@Home, for more than a year (previous coverage here), but its customer base is limited to current and retired members of the military.
  • DepositNow, a unit of BankServ, allows anyone to use remote deposit services, but it's geared towards businesses and costs at least $29/mo, far above what consumers or even smaller businesses will pay.
  • A number of banks also make it available to small businesses and the very wealthy, but consumer rollouts have been nonexistent. The cost of a dedicated scanner makes it uneconomical for the mass market.

checkfree_logo CheckFree aims to change that with a new service targeted to consumers and very small businesses (press release here). The key is using existing consumer scanners and multi-function printers. USAA has proven that this technology does indeed work, so we expect CheckFree's service will pass technical hurdles.

It's hard to predict consumer demand, but given that around 20% of U.S. households maintain a full- or part-time business endeavor, we expect strong demand if the price is reasonable and technology is extremely easy to use.

Remote deposit services could be used as the cornerstone of a premium online banking offering (note 2) attractive to microbusiness (note 1) owners and consumers who still receive paper checks a few times per month.


  1. We define a microbusiness as one with $50,000 or less in annual revenue, typically a part-time, home-based business. For more information see Online Banking Report #107/108: Small and Microbusiness Banking Online.
  2. See Online Banking Report #109 for ideas on how to create a premium online banking channel.
Comments (4)

Remote Deposit Sightings: Wall Street Journal & PNC Bank

By Jim Bruene on March 19, 2007 9:54 AM | Comments

It takes a long time before a new process or technology becomes "conventional wisdom," something that is accepted at face value without questioning its pros and cons. While we are still years away from that happening with remote deposit technology, at least the mainstream press has picked up on its benefits, one of the first steps towards mass adoption.

The latest example was in today's Wall Street Journal special Small Business section. In "Branching Out," a general article on banks' growing interest in small businesses, author David Enrich prefaced an Aite Group "levels the playing field" quote with this (p. R6):  

Remote deposit makes it less important to select a bank based on its location or number of branches--which many big banks tout as a key selling point.

The key take-away here is that banks should make sure remote deposit services are prominently featured in checking/cash management offers aimed at attracting new business clients. 

Google search on remote deposit capture CLICK TO ENLARGE For example, PNC Bank is currently running a remote deposit promotion with a free scanner for customers who sign up before the end of April (see landing page screenshot below). The service is powered by Bankserv (PNC data sheet here;

The promotion is well-placed on Google, with the fourth-highest AdWords placement giving PNC the top-right slot (see inset).

However, neither the promotion or remote deposit are mentioned on the bank's main business checking account marketing page (see second screenshot below). We like the promotion, the first we've seen advertising a free scanner via Google, but the bank seems to be missing the chance to grab new accounts with the freebie.  

PNC Bank landing page from Google search on "remote deposit capture"
(Seattle IP address, 19 March 2007, 9 AM PDT)

PNC Bank landing page from Google search on "remote deposit capture"

PNC Bank main business checking page (19 March 2007)

PNC Bank main business checking page (19 March 2007)


Wells Fargo Extends Hours via ATM Deposit Capture

By Jim Bruene on January 25, 2007 12:53 PM | Comments

Wells Fargo explanation of remote ATM deposit capture No matter how comfortable and convenient your branches are, forcing customers to rush to the branch to cash a check before closing time is not helping cement the relationship. And it leaves you vulnerable to competitors with longer hours or branches that are closer to your customer. And extending hours into the evening and weekend may be great for the customer, but its tough on the bottom line. 

That's what makes Wells Fargo's latest move doubly smart. Because deposit/check-capture ATMs automate the check cashing process, the main reason customers visit a branch late in the day, the machines can serve almost like a virtual branch for many users.

So Wells Fargo is leveraging its so-called "Envelope-free" ATM network to provide what amounts to extended branch hours, providing same-day credit for checks deposited in its Envelope-free ATMs to 7 PM. By adding three hours to what was a 4 PM cut-off, the bank instantly has a network of 1200 extended-hour locations (see Note 1) for a fraction of the cost of keeping branches open an extra 10 to 15 hours per week.  

As remote deposit capture becomes a key selling point for banks, we expect deposit cutoff times to disappear altogether, just as many bill payment systems now allow payments to be initiated up to midnight for same-day processing. 


  1. The bank announced Tuesday that it will be expanding its network of envelope-free check capture ATMs to 1200, from the current 400 (see press release here). The Wells Fargo Envelope-free page is here.

Paper-check Conversion is Bigger than just Business Remote Deposit Capture

By Jim Bruene on January 15, 2007 3:40 PM | Comments

remote deposit capture Recently, we've focused on one aspect of paper-check conversion, so-called remote deposit capture, where a business deposits paper checks by converting them into electronic items instead of driving them to the bank. It's an important new service that benefits both the bank and the end user.  

However, there is more to this story than saving businesses at trip to the branch. There is also a significant opportunity for capture at branch locations, including:

  • Capture at the ATM (in-branch or off-site)
  • Capture by the teller
  • Capture by the customer at an in-branch kiosk)
  • Hybrid model with customer doing some of the work with the branch staff assisting 
  • Capturing in the branch back office (i.e., not at the teller line, but later in the process)
  • Capture at a third-party such as a UPS Store or check cashier

An insightful summary of the issues was published Friday by Gonzobanker's Terence Roche (here). Previous Netbanker coverage is here.


Marketing Remote Deposit Capture Services

By Jim Bruene on January 5, 2007 10:54 AM | Comments

Bank of Arizona remote deposit banner on homepage

As mentioned in our earlier post (here), there is relatively little advertising activity on the search engines for remote deposit capture services.

However, when it comes to website marketing, a number of community banks are featuring the innovative service front and center (see screenshots at the bottom of this article). 

  • First Mutual Bank <>
  • 1st National Bank of Arizona <>
  • National Bank of Arizona <>

However, even though these banks are using their most valuable online real estate to promote the service, in most cases there is little information on how it works, how much it costs, or whether it would work for smaller businesses.

To properly market remote deposit capture to smaller businesses, look at how how high-tech companies market new products almost always with an an online demo and frequently with white papers, spec sheets, and free trial offers.

As mentioned previously, Wells Fargo is using a white paper to explain the service and capture leads (see post here). In terms of demos, Nevada State Bank, <> a $3.4 billion unit of Zions, has an excellent one (see screenshot below). 

Nevada State Bank remote deposit demo CLICK TO ENLARGE 

Action items:

  1. Create an online demo to educate the market on how remote deposit capture works
  2. Post detailed information on features, benefits, pricing, how to use, FAQs, testimonials, amount of deposits captured to date, and so on
  3. Capture leads from the product-info page
  4. Use Google and other search engines to market the service
  5. Offer a free trial

Homepage screenshots:

First Mutual Bank homepage CLICK TO ENLARGEFirst Mutual Bank 

Bank of Arizona homepage CLICK TO ENLARGE1st National Bank of Arizona







National Bank of Arizona


Remote Deposit Capture is Virtually Invisible at Google

By Jim Bruene on January 5, 2007 10:21 AM | Comments

Remote deposit capture is one of the most significant new technologies to hit online business banking since, well, online banking. According to Celent, 60 of the largest 100 banks, including 20 of the top 25, now offer it. In addition, hundreds of smaller community banks now offer it.

So why can't I find it through Google? (see note 1)

For two years I've been coveting the service and waiting for my bank to offer it to small businesses such as ours. I'm still waiting.

Today, I happened to see it mentioned on the homepage of a local community bank here, First Mutual Bank (see screenshot below).

First Mutual Bank showcases remote deposit capture on homepage CLICK TO ENLARGE

Not wanting the hassle of moving my account relationship, especially to a bank on the other side of Lake Washington (a major traffic hassle), I tried a little Googling to see what other banks in the area might have it. 

It fails to show up in the organic results, and only two banks, Wells Fargo and Main Street Bank <> are advertising on "remote deposit capture" and the shorter "remote deposits." Main Street Bank is located out of state and Wells Fargo, while just up the street from my office, appears to target its remote capture to larger businesses. I'd be willing to pay $20 to $30 a month for it, but I'm guessing that's not even close to the Wells Fargo commercial customer price.   

Action items (see note 2)

  1. If you offer remote deposit capture, make sure you have a dedicated page touting the features and benefits.
  2. On the dedicated page, make sure you use the term "remote deposit capture" in addition to any cute name you've branded it with. That will help users find it on search results.
  3. Market it through Google and other search engines. At this point, it doesn't appear that there's much competition for ads, meaning your cost per click should be low.
  4. Create a landing page that captures leads for your business banking officers. Check out Wells Fargo's approach at
    (see screenshot below)

Wells Fargo landing page for its Google ad under "remote deposit capture" CLICK TO ENLARGE


  1. I am searching from a Seattle IP address. In other markets, there may be financial institutions using Google to market remote deposit services.
  2. We will post an additional article on remote deposit marketing later today

USAA Offers Nationwide Remote Deposit Capture for Consumers

By Jim Bruene on December 7, 2006 9:34 AM | Comments

In a press release yesterday, USAA, which serves many of its 5.6 million members remotely, announced the availability of its Deposit@home remote deposit capture service. It's the first major remote deposit capture service geared towards consumers. There are no fees for the service.

Previous services have been targeted to businesses who could justify the $300 to $700+ cost of a dedicated on-location paper-check scanner (see prior coverage here). USAA's service USAA remote deposit in actionworks with any 200 dpi or better scanner hooked to a Windows 2000/XP computer, so households with a dedicated scanner or multi-function printer will not be required to add hardware.

Deposit@home has been rolling out to selected customers since mid-November. To reduce risk, the service is only available to credit- and insurance-qualified checking account customers.

It's being positioned as a replacement to the UPS/NetBank QuickPost service that was abruptly discontinued by NetBank in a cost-cutting move (previous post here). QuickPost allowed USAA customers to overnight deposits free-of-charge from any UPS Store. There is no word on when or if it will be available to all USAA checking account customers.

Because of its limited availability, it has not been featured on USAA's website. Invitations were sent by email and the option was added to the menu within online banking. However, the feature was used in an online promotion for the Lackland Airfest 2006 a month ago (see mention in upper-left here). 

Here's a screenshot posted on the USAA thread at FatWallet:

QuickPost alternatives at USAA CLICK TO ENLARGE

Assuming the service works as promised on in-home scanners, the ability to submit deposits remotely should help financial institutions compete for checking accounts outside their geographic footprint.

Winners: Direct banks, credit unions, and smaller banks with limited branch networks; also, remote deposit technology providers and printer/scanner manufacturers

Losers: Any financial institution that doesn't offer remote deposit options; branches


Consumer Remote Deposit Coming in July

By Jim Bruene on June 8, 2006 3:52 PM | Comments

Scanner The first remote deposit solution using a generic document scanner will launch in July, according to its developer Community Bank Systems <>. Without the requirement of buying a $300+ check scanner, remote deposit services will be able to capture a large number of small and micro-businesses.

We'll reserve judgment on CBS's ePosit solution until we have more details, but this could be an important way to grab more share of your area's small business customers. And it will make a good copy point for personal checking accounts, though most consumers won't want to learn a new system to deposit a couple checks every month. Conversely, if you lag on adopting this new technology, you may find yourself vulnerable.

As a matter of fact, we could envision a long-term branding campaign around better deposit taking, from reduced hold requirements, deposit-item images available via online banking, and the convenience of 24/7 remote deposit of paper checks. Read some of the rants at HomeStreet Bank's <> site and you can see that deposit INconvenience creates some strong feelings (see this rant and this one).



Remote Deposit Capture Creates Buzz at TransPay

By Jim Bruene on May 25, 2006 10:07 AM | Comments

If there was one universal recommendation from BAI's TransPay Conference it was this:

Offer remote deposit capture NOW!

Remote deposit capture, the scanning and depositing of checks from the user's own location, rivals online banking in terms of utility for businesses of all sizes. In an interesting general session yesterday, three small business principals from companies in the $5 million to $10 million category were on stage with two bankers. When the subject of remote deposit capture came up, two business owners were ready to install the system immediately. The third only received a few checks each month and wasn’t interested, however he said his spouse who runs a retail operation is very interested.

The business owners were willing to pay a considerable fee since it would save many hours of labor each week. And maybe more important, they liked how it made remittance processing easier to manage. With small staffs, they often have to find replacements to make the "bank run." And sometimes checks sat idle for days at a time when someone was unexpectedly sick.

Main Street Bank <> features check scanning in its Main Street Connect package.

The predicted remote deposit capture adoption curve resembles online banking in the late 1990s. Celent estimates there will be 100,000 remote locations by the end of this year, about 5% penetration of the corporate market. In five years, the research company predicts more than 1 million business locations will use the service, along with a quarter million branch locations for 1.4 million total locations in 2012 (see below).

Source: Celent, 5/06

So far, only 50 or so banks are offering, but all top-20 banks either have it now or are in the final testing phase. By this time next year, as many as 500 banks may offer it, and it will soon be an expected part of a full-service, business-banking offering.



Check-Scanning ATMs to Receive 15 Minutes of Fame

By Jim Bruene on May 18, 2006 1:54 PM | Comments

Bofa_atmWondering what to call your remote deposit-capture service? Just wait a few months and Bank of America will solve that problem for you. The bank, and its $175 million advertising budget (see NetBanker May 17), is on the verge of making check-scanning ATMs a household name.

According to last week's Wall Street Journal (May 8), "The Envelope-Free ATM," BofA will use television to trumpet the new feature as it rolls out 1700 next-generation ATMs by the end of the year. Bank of America has an ATM base of 15,000.

As you recall, the last time BofA used its advertising budget to push a new high-tech feature, free bill pay, in 2002, it set off a chain reaction that has resulted in bill payment being free at most U.S. financial institutions.

We expect the BofA advertising to be the beginning of mass adoption of check scanning at ATMs, self-service teller-assisted stations in branches, and for business customers, in-home/office devices.

Today there are only about 4000 check-scanning ATMs in the United States compared to 396,000 conventional machines, so it will be years before there is a critical mass of the new machines. TowerGroup predicts that 25% of the 200,000 bank-owned machines will feature check imaging in 2010 (see chart below).


Financial institutions of all sizes should accelerate their plans to harness the technology. As the branch network is downsized, this is one of the ways the impact on consumers will be minimized. The extra $10,000 to $15,000 per ATM expense is relatively insignificant considering the labor savings from the device. TowerGroup estimates a 75% decrease in processing costs to just $0.40 per item compared to $1.70 for checks deposited with a teller or by means of an envelope dropped into an ATM. That means the breakeven is often less than 10,000 deposited items per machine, assuming the bank is able to reduce back-office or branch labor. This does not include the expected lower fraud costs.

However, this particular technology is more about customer satisfaction than cost reductions. Customers will love this system once they understand it. Not only is there instant feedback with an image of the deposited items, users also get the peace of mind of being able to access the image through their online bank system. Yet, another way that online banking adds value to the relationship.



Honor System for Bank Remote Deposits

By Jim Bruene on May 11, 2005 12:00 PM | Comments

Psecu_upostFew innovations of the past five years can top Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union's (PSECU) Upost@Home service. Launched in late 2001, the service allows qualified members to enter deposit items online for instant credit to their account. Members then send the paper items to the CU through the mail for reconciliation.

The service was named an OBR Best of the Web winner in 2003 and earned the #23 spot on the OBR list of the Top 25 Innovations of All Time (see OBR 103).

Now the service is being marketed to other financial companies through PSECU's CUSO affiliate, eCU Technologies. The service is already in place at Southland Civic Credit Union and Deere and Company Credit Union.

As part of the marketing effort, eCU has released updated metrics on the usage at PSECU and the estimated cost savings:

Total deposit sessions: 700,000
Total deposit dollars: $300 million
Deposits per session: $430
Total losses: $13,000
Losses as a percent of deposits: 0.4 basis points (0.00004)
Losses per deposit session: $0.02
Savings per deposit session (vs. teller or ATM): $1.14
Total program savings: $800,000

Action Item
Specific results from three credit unions along with program details will be discussed at a free Webinar May 23. We urge you to attend.



Wells Fargo's Remote Deposit Capture

By Jim Bruene on April 6, 2005 1:03 AM | Comments

Last year, NetBank was one of the first banks to talk about allowing business customers to deposit checks directly via scanner, so called remote image capture or remote deposit capture.   

Bony_remote_depositNetBank has yet to go live, but several others have including: First Tennessee (the first to go live in March 2004), Bank of New York (announced 08 Nov 2004, see inset), HSBC (announced 08 Nov 2004), Wachovia (announced 13 Dec 2004), BB&T (announced 10 March 2005, live 01 April 2005).

Also, know to be implementing or testing: PNC, E*Trade Bank, Bank of America, LaSalle Bank, JPMorgan, BB&T, Mellon, Citibank, Key Bank, Zions, and Glenview State Bank (IL).

Now you can add Wells Fargo to that list.

Last week, the online banking pioneer announced its extremely well named remote deposit capture service, Desktop Deposit. The service allows businesses to scan checks into their PCs using a USB device from the bank. No word yet on pricing and availability.

Remote deposit capture, either at the customer's PC or at a scanner-equipped ATM, has the potential to negate one of the branches last roles, check cashing. It could be especially appealing to small businesses who benefit from the obvious time savings (no more trip to the bank) and better cash flow (no stashing checks away until the weekly bank run).

But the more important benefit to businesses are the improved record keeping and easier resolution of billing disputes. Images of deposited items are available immediately online and can be easily searched, retrieved, and forwarded, should a question arise later. Finally, the business retains the original paper item for a back-up paper trail.

And given the large value to the business, banks should be able to increase checking account and/or online banking fees for remote-capture clients, thus profiting from a process that wrings paper checks out of the system.   



-- JB


NetBank Announces Remote Deposit Scanning Service

By Jim Bruene on May 24, 2004 4:12 PM | Comments

According to an article in the May 20 American Banker, NetBank is about to launch a remote deposit service for its business customers. Although details of the yet-to-be-launched service are sketchy, it is expected that business customers would scan paper checks into a remote device that transmitted the images to NetBank for immediate deposit.

This service has two important benefits in addition to the obvious: freeing small business owners from a trek to the branch:
1. Improves cash flow since checks can be deposited immediately rather than on periodic trips to the branch
2. Streamlines record keeping in two ways:
(a) the original check can be filed as a paper receipt
(b) an electronic image is stored at the bank and is available if questions arrive

The service is not expected until August at the earliest. The technology provider is Alogent.

Speaking as both as a small business owner and an industry analyst, this is a great service and a strong candidate for an Online Banking Report Best of the Web award once the service becomes operational.


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