I recently had the honor and pleasure of presenting at the McKinsey & Co. payments symposium. This is an event that regularly draws senior level executives from the largest banks in the country.

Bankers in attendance were eager to learn about mobile RDC. Not that they were in the dark about mobile check capture. They weren’t. Several banks represented have mobile RDC programs underway. But these bankers had probing questions about RDC risk and security considerations.

While the payments business is hugely important to banks; fees from payments are the largest source of non-interest income on bank balance sheets, there are concerns of the risks that may be associated with the payment business. Banks, being highly regulated, are risk averse; in fact, data from Javelin Research & Strategies suggests one in three financial institutions have delayed decisions about mobile RDC because of concerns over risks and security.

Everyone in business knows there are risks in every new product channel, but adequately assessed and properly managed these risks can be contained. And mobile RDC is no exception.

As payments products, go RDC is still relatively new: it doesn’t have as long of a track record as say credit cards or checks. On the other hand, bankers have generations of experience with checks and the associated risks, like check fraud. Indeed, the American Bankers Association (ABA) reports that more than seven out of 10 U.S. banks suffered losses from check frauds in 2010 which together totaled almost $1 billion.

RDC can help to reduce the potential for most check fraud by expediting the clearing and settlement of checks, and bankers have much to learn about how to leverage this powerful tool to at their advantage.

One of the key concerns we hear – and it came up again last week – is that RDC, and mobile RDC in particular, may pose new transaction risks, since validation routines are done on the backend after checks are already in the processing stream. Bankers are concerned about the potential for duplicate deposits in an RDC environment. And they know examiners are closely monitoring financial institutions’ RDC deployment and risk management plans.

When I talk with bankers, as I did last week, many are surprised to learn that to-date incidences of frauds like duplicate check presentment have been extremely low in RDC implementations. This is due in large measure to good risk management, customer acceptance policies, and good technology solutions, like Cachet’s Select Mobile™ and CheckReview™ platforms. These technology solutions were developed to help financial institutions mitigate risk on check transactions that are exceptions to business rules or questionable mobile deposits before they ever enter the processing stream.

Despite some trepidation on the part of banks and credit unions, mobile check deposit has become an important differentiator in the financial services sector today. It’s a customer convenience that has a huge “cool factor,” especially with younger consumers. So as more financial institutions and alternative financial providers roll out mobile RDC offerings, the biggest risk of all may be customer defection.

Wishing you a Safe & Happy Thanksgiving!