It appears that banking will now become truly online thanks to a new service that CheckFree announced yesterday: Remote Deposit Capture. Essentially, this will allow retail customers who have a scanner and an Internet connection to deposit checks from their home without visiting the branch.Clearly, this could have significant impact on a bank's cost structures (less branches? Less tellers?) and perhaps even justify a fee that banks can charge consumers. After all, there is value in being able to do this online from the comfort of one's home without having to wait in line at a branch or visit an ATM.
Of course, adoption will be an issue, which could lead to a Catch-22: Banks will need to adopt the technology before consumers can use it, but will they adopt it for fear of low utilization by their customers? Our take is that this is a benefit worth offering consumers and while it may not receive wide adoption from older (i.e., wealthier) customers, it is likely something that would appeal to the younger set and could serve to solidify a long-term relationship with that demographic.
It's early yet, and we have not seen any of the bank websites that we track in Bank Monitor mention this new service. But we will be on the lookout in the weeks and months ahead and will certainly be testing out any implementations that we see.CheckFree's new Remote Deposit Capture stands to make online banking truly online.