These are exciting times we live and work in. The near ubiquity of smart mobile devices, combined with the proliferation of prepaid card and electronic check technologies are dismantling barriers that have left tens of millions of Americans without affordable access to mainstream financial services, like checking accounts and credit cards.

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) nearly one in four American households is either unbanked or under-banked. These consumers, for a variety of reasons, prefer cash and check cashing stores to checking accounts. Carrying all that cash around, however, creates problems, like vulnerability to thefts.

Many of these underserved Americans already use their mobile phones to pay bills and for purchases. A survey by the Federal Reserve last year revealed that 62% of under-banked consumers had used their mobile devices for bill payments. Among the unbanked, 12% reported using their mobiles to make payments and one in ten had accessed banking services with a mobile phone.

Among younger consumers – the 18 to 29 crowd – the trend is even more apparent: 44% of those with mobile phones have used the devices to conduct banking, according to the Fed. This is noteworthy given other data that suggests much of this demographic is more inclined to be under-banked, regardless of income. Reloadable prepaid debit cards have emerged as a viable alternative to bank checking accounts for many of the under/unbanked. Thousands of large companies, for example, and government agencies, too, now disburse pay and benefits to prepaid cards in lieu of Direct Deposit to a checking account.Yet there are at least 40 million Americans working for companies that don’t offer Direct Deposit. The most viable option for the under/unbanked among these are check cashing stores, which in addition to cashing checks might also sell prepaid cards for loading cash onto.…That is until now.

Mobile remote deposit capture makes loading funds from a check onto a prepaid card as quick and easy as snapping a photo with a camera-enabled smart phone. With leading banks like Chase and Citi, as well as thousands of smaller banks and credit unions, promoting mobile RDC it is becoming hugely popular with “banked” Americans. Now, with Cachet’s patent pending technology added to the mix, nonbank financial services organizations can offer this same level of convenience and sophistication to their customers: the under/unbanked.

Check cashing is a huge business opportunity. This year American consumers will cash more than 7 billion checks worth an estimated $5.7 trillion. Mobile RDC streamlines and simplifies the check cashing process. And Cachet is uniquely positioned to help check cashing establishments and other financial services organizations make the most of the opportunities mobile RDC creates to grow their businesses. Our suite of RDC solutions can be private labeled or integrated into existing platforms. This includes our Select Mobile Capture™ check to card solution, which supports most smart phones and tablets, as well as our state-of-the-art CheckReview™ application which helps identify check fraud with real time review and control over approval.

Yes, these are exciting times we live and work in. Personally, I find it both exciting and gratifying to be involved in helping to create new opportunities for financial services organizations to attract and retain customers with innovations like mobile check deposit.