Credit unions are well known for their grassroots involvement. And last week executives and board members at credit unions from across the nation brought that activist spirit to Washington for the Credit Union National Association (CUNA’s) Government Affairs Conference (GAC).

It was a headliner event, with high-level government officials and members of Congress addressing the thousands in attendance on issues related to taxes, consumer protection and the value credit unions bring to the 95 million Americans who count themselves as members.

Exhibiting at GAC this year heightened my appreciation for how remote deposit capture can really make a difference for credit unions in reaching and meeting the needs of their member-owners. Unlike banks, credit unions operate on very lean budgets and with limited brick and mortar. But like banks, credit unions need deposits to grow. RDC levels the competitive landscape in that it allows credit unions to accept check deposits from members regardless of where they are located, on any day and at any time of the day. In fact, as many credit unions have discovered already, unleashing the power of mobile RDC is like placing a mini-branch in every member’s pocket/purse.

As speaker after speaker related in addressing GAC attendees last week, credit unions, as “member-focused” entities, are unique in America’s financial services marketplace. “We have a very powerful legacy of common purpose and cooperation,” National Credit Union Administration Board Member Michael E. Fryzel said.

This value proposition becomes even stronger with RDC. At Cachet, we’re committed to helping credit unions solidify their value proposition and improve their bottom line with consumer-friendly products like mobile RDC. And at CUNA’s GAC, we were able to demonstrate how mobile RDC can bring real value to credit unions and their member-owners. We had the pleasure of visiting with literally hundreds of Credit Union executives in our booth during the show. In addition to enjoying entertainment by our master magician, Danny Orleans, they also appreciated learning about the latest RDC technologies available to enhance their member offerings.

It appears the emergence of affordable RDC solutions could not have come at a better time for credit unions. Irritated over rising minimum balances and service charges, millions of Americans have closed out their bank accounts over the past few years and joined credit unions. Last year alone, credit unions welcomed more than 2 million new members, according to the consultancy Callahan and Associates.

Attracting new members is one thing, of course; getting them to use credit unions for all their financial services needs is a bit more difficult. However, the data indicates credit unions are succeeding on this count as well: at 6.7% the growth in new share draft accounts last year far exceeded the rate of growth in new members, Callahan reports. That’s pretty remarkable considering credit unions generally have few branches.

Clearly, RDC enhances the appeal of credit unions by making it simpler and more convenient for members to deposit checks to their accounts. At Cachet we’re committed to helping credit unions large and small realize the many benefits RDC provides, from improved customer stickiness to streamlined operations.

Cachet’s RDC Select™ suite of fully-integrated, customizable RDC solutions eliminates the costs and hassles of building and managing RDC offerings in house. And that makes sophisticated products like mobile RDC a viable offering for credit unions of any size. Most experts agree that 2013 will be a big year for mobile financial services, and that mobile deposit is driving a lot of interest in the mobile channel. In December, the consulting firm Bain & Company reported mobile banking usage in the U.S. had grown by 50% since 2011. Even more striking, 41% of those mobile bankers surveyed by the firm said using their smart phones or tablets to remotely deposit checks was something on which they placed high value.

The consulting firm AlixPartners predicts 2.1 billion checks will migrate to mRDC from other channels by 2016, with adopters moving 73% of their paper check deposits to the mobile channel.

Recent announcements from Cachet’s offices here in Minneapolis illustrate that the RDC value proposition has not been lost on credit unions and their technology partners. Earlier this month, we announced the integration of our Select Mobile deposit technology with CU Mobile Apps’ mobile baking platform. That followed announcements last month about partnerships with Volunteer Corporate Credit Union in Nashville to provide mobile RDC to its 325 member credit unions, and Tyfone, a mobile solutions provider to numerous credit unions.

The importance to credit unions of offering comprehensive mobile solutions cannot be overstated. Those that implement mobile solutions incorporating remote deposit now will be in the best position to capitalize on changing consumer preferences and to grow deposits and loans moving forward.