While many banks are still scrambling to launch mobile check deposit capture for their retail customers, few banks have offered the same service to their commercial clients. Small businesses are a particularly natural fit for mobile remote check deposit, says Sam Golbach, Senior Vice President, integrated receivables financials, for WAUSAU Financial Systems, a payments and receivables processing solutions company that offers a mobile remote deposit capture solution for banks. A lot of small business owners run their business from their home, Golbach points out, and it can be an inconvenience for them to make trips to the bank just to deposit checks or have to go home to scan checks.
"There's more push now to spend more time with small business customers, especially using mobile," Golbach says. "These customers are likely going to have smartphones, they work on the go, and having to go back home to use a [desktop] check scanner doesn't make sense."
Just as there has been a race to offer mobile RDC on the retail side since Chase launched it, Golbach predicts there will be a similar race once a couple of larger financial institutions roll it out to commercial clients. Some of the banks working with WAUSAU are already looking to offer the company's retail mobile RDC for their business customers early next year.
NewDominion Bank, a community bank based in Charlotte, N.C. ($318 million in assets), is one of those looking to launch mobile RDC in the beginning of next year. The bank was the first in its market to launch retail mobile RDC in March of 2012, and has been offering desktop RDC with a check scanner to its business clients, according to Chris Block, the bank's SVP of treasury services. Block says that those business customers would be better served by a mobile RDC solution because of the convenience that mobile offers.
The move to offer mobile RDC for commercial customers made sense from the bank's perspective because they are looking into offering more mobile services for business customers, Block says. The bank saw a great deal of success with mobile RDC on the retail side, he relates, with more than 10% of the bank's retail deposits conducted via mobile since the product's release in March. Although he doesn't think that mobile RDC will have as profound an impact on the commercial side, Block says the solution will benefit the bank by making it cheaper to serve its small business clients compared to the desktop RDC solution.
The roll out of commercial mobile RDC will be easy from a technology perspective, Block notes, because the bank has already launched it on the retail side. "Where the rub lies [in the implementation] is in operations," he says, specifically the policies in terms of management and monitoring that the bank will have to put in place for the service. The first issue the bank has is pricing, he comments. The bank plans to offer the service free-of-charge as part of a bundle of services for its bigger business accounts, Block predicts that he will have to charge some type of fee for the service for smaller business accounts.
The bank will also need to set rules as to who will qualify for the service and what limits it will set in terms of number and dollar amounts of deposits customers can make with the solution, Block says. Typically the bank asks retail customers to for two months of bank statements to review to determine those limits on an individual basis, and Block expects the bank will do something similar for retail clients. The bank also needs to determine a source stocking policy for users, Block points out. It currently asks customers using the desktop RDC solution to hold on to checks for 60 days after they're deposited, Block says, and it will probably have to do something similar with the mobile solution.
Although many are predicting the eventual demise of checks because of the much-touted rise of digital payments in the next few years, WAUSAU's Golbach says that will not hamper demand for mobile remote deposit capture solutions, especially for small businesses. Processing checks will only become more expensive as they become more rare, he reasons, and that cost will likely get passed on the customer. "Small businesses will still get some checks and it will become more costly to go to the bank with just one or two checks to deposit. That will increase the use of mobile [for check deposit]."