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Mobile deposit rules! Well, not quite. But it certainly has a steep adoption curve, and that adoption curve is set to grow steeper with a new solution geared specifically to smaller banks and credit unions. It’s called Select Mobile™ Deposit-Express, and it’s the latest mobile deposit innovation from Cachet.

The Federal Reserve reports that 51% of mobile banking customers made mobile deposits last year, and that number continues to grow. Celent expects 62 million Americans will be using the mobile deposit offerings at 4,000 banks and credit unions by the end of this year. By year-end 2016 over 6,000 financial institutions will be offering and 87 million consumers will be using mobile RDC, based on Celent’s analysis. To paraphrase Celent Senior Analyst Bob Meara, smart phones are becoming modern-day check scanners.

The benefits of offering mobile deposit are indisputable. Banks and credit unions with mobile deposit offerings report higher average deposits, reduced overhead as branch traffic migrates to lower-cost channels, new fee income opportunities and stickier customer relationships. Plus, many use mobile deposit to tap into new market opportunities, such as prepaid debit cards and corporate cash management services.

Yet, despite the payoff, there are many small banks and credit unions that lack the technology expertise and budget dollars to offer mobile deposit. The result, of course, is that they risk losing customers to tech-savvy competitors. Now there’s a mobile deposit solution that enables even the smallest institutions to tap into the mobile deposit benefits stream without breaking the bank: Select Mobile Deposit-Express. End users simply download the app to their smart phones and tablets; they can immediately begin enjoying the benefits of being able to deposit checks when, where and how it makes sense to them.

Deposit-Express is an unbranded, standalone, cloud-based software solution that is meant to minimize start-up costs and simplify deployment of mobile deposit among small financial institutions that don’t have the resources (financial or otherwise) to go to market with their own branded mobile deposit apps. It even incorporates a pricing model that helps clients manage costs as mobile deposit usage grows. For example, Cachet will assess no fees for the first 50 checks deposited by customers.

With Deposit-Express small banks and credit unions get all the service benefits of Cachet’s Select Mobile Deposit software right out of the gate and at a fraction of the cost of a branded solution. This is not a slimmed down version of Select Mobile Deposit: it’s backed by the same technology and the same full-service support as the customizable solution. Deposit-Express clients benefit from Cachet’s dedicated client services, strategic marketing, 24/7 help desk and advanced risk mitigation tools, such as duplicate detection.

Deposit-Express is a real game changer in that it eliminates a critical technology gap between large and small financial institutions. As an industry we have learned that the availability of digital banking services, like mobile deposit, are crucial for attracting and retaining profitable customer relationships. A recent consumer survey conducted by Accenture illustrates: 38% of those surveyed ranked good digital banking as their reason for staying with a bank or credit union; just 28% said branch locations and another 28% said low fees.

Mobile deposit is also emerging as a viable new source of fee revenues. Just last year, for example, Aite Group reported that 56% of financial institutions offering mobile deposit were either charging or planning to charge fees for the service.

While large banks – especially mega-banks – garner plenty of headlines with new digital products and innovations, and enjoy the luxury of brand recognition, community banks and credit unions are the backbone of the U.S. financial system. These institutions may not be as diversified or have deep pockets like their upstream competitors, but nimbleness and commitment to their customers and members positions many of these institutions to capitalize on a growing disillusionment with big banks. Unfortunately, many are in the unenviable position of having to do more with less.

Deposit-Express responds to this conundrum with a simplified, turnkey mobile deposit solution. It’s not the end game, but it’s a great way for community banks and credit unions to realize the benefits of mobile deposit without the time and money commitments required of branded solutions. Many Deposit-Express client institutions will move up to their own branded solutions, eventually, as customer adoption of mobile deposit grows. Cachet stands ready and willing to help these clients make the transition.