In just 10 years, remote deposit capture has significantly altered the financial services marketplace. Yet we’ve barely scratched the surface of possibilities RDC creates. By eliminating brick and mortar from the customer service equation, RDC enables an array of synergistic banking and payment products, including offerings that make it more feasible and affordable to serve the unbanked and underbanked.
Companies like our partner Ingo Money demonstrate how RDC is more than just another option for making bank deposits. Ingo integrates our mobile RDC solution with prepaid debit cards to offer consumers quicker and cheaper access to good funds than they might otherwise get from financial institutions or check cashers. This demand for faster access to check funds is poised for significant growth, driven by consumers who wouldn’t otherwise use RDC, but having been introduced to it, are willing to pay for the convenience of cashing checks using their mobile devices. This growing consumer popularity, in turn, will drive more businesses to adopt mobile RDC offerings.
As the universe of users expands, so, too, will functionality and product offerings, as the underlying technologies (mobile and remote capture) are extremely robust. Products like Select Mobile™ Lending, which we recently introduced. The application incorporates extensive document imaging and data extraction technologies and allows consumers to apply for payday loans using their smart phones and tablets. Evolve Money – a smartphone-based bill pay solution by PreCash – is yet another example of what is possible.
Financial institutions, pummeled by costly regulatory changes (like Durbin Amendment caps on debit card interchange) are looking for new revenue opportunities. Mobile and remote capture technologies open doors to all sorts of new and exciting revenue-generating opportunities.
For example, banks and credit unions have invested significant time and capital in electronic bill payment programs that are seriously underutilized. According to Aite Group, bank bill-payment programs are only slightly more utilized by consumers than in-person payments. The consultancy estimates that 15% of bill-payments were made through bank electronic bill-pay programs last year, while 26% went through billers’ online payment programs and 13% were made in person. Aite also reports that most smartphone users are “very likely” to change how they pay bills if they were offered a more convenient method. The smartphone-RDC combination responds to the convenience demands of this large and growing segment of the population.
The key word in RDC, after all, is remote. It may have begun as a means for gathering deposits but RDC is much more than that today, and the potential for more synergistic products is significant. FIs need to seize this period of innovation to address real customer pain points, like cashing checks and filling out loan documents. The more that can be accomplished the greater the value proposition. The greater the value proposition the more likely customers are to pay for these services and the stronger an FI’s relationship to its customers.
So let’s not, as an industry, rest on our laurels. Mobile and RDC are a powerful combination, the benefits of which have only just begun to emerge.