Consumers hang on to checks as fiercely as they hang on to their smart phones. We're still writing checks, though their demise was predicted twenty years ago. Even with the increase in debit card use, about 90% of US adults have a checking account. In addition to paying bills, we still use checks to make person-to-person payments, pay the rent and the gardener, donate to social causes, present as gifts and shop. And now, with the emergence of new payment processing technology that simplifies depositing, such as mobile remote deposit capture, it could be that checks are here to stay.
Mobile remote deposit capture has two big things going for it...our love of checks and our love of our smart phones. Mobile remote deposit capture has done for consumers what electronic check processing and remote deposit capture (RDC) has done for businesses: make processing a check for deposit as fast and easy as writing one. With a RDC service, checks are "deposited" electronically, eliminating trips to the bank and filling out lengthy deposit slips. Checks can be submitted for deposit any time of the day from just about anywhere. With mobile RDC though, instead of using a PC and imager, consumers and businesses use a smart phone to capture digital images of the front and back of a check and send those images to their financial institution or check service provider for processing and deposit.
Though often marketed for personal consumer use, mobile RDC offers many benefits for businesses. Businesses with staff on the road or service contractors that spend little time at the office, plumbers or landscapers for example, can make deposits from the field, right after getting paid. In addition to convenience, some RDC services may include guarantee features, which is another benefit to the small business owner.
Access to smart phones has a lot to do with the success of this technology. According to a May 2011 Javelin report, 2011 Mobile Remote Deposit Capture: Creating a Compelling Business Case for Mobile Servicing, there are approximately 47 million US consumers ready to go: they possess a smart phone, use the camera on their phone and download applications on their phone. Javelin also found that one in four consumers find the idea of mobile RDC as desirable overall with over 70 percent of 18 - 24 year olds indicating this technology is desirable.
Banks across the nation are quickly adapting this technology and some are seeing an increase in checking account sign-ups when they offer it. Conestoga Bank in Pennsylvania recently reported a 10 percent jump in account openings and they credit the availability of mobile RDC for the increase. One of the reasons that banks and financial institutions like it is that remote depositing costs much less than other deposit methods. Another reason? Research indicates that consumers are willing to pay a small fee for the convenience.
According to the Federal Reserve, it is estimated that about 200 million Americans write and receive checks. Checks represent 44 percent of non-cash payment value at over $31 trillion! With our grasp on our checkbook almost as strong as that on our cell phones, it looks like the big change in checks for the near future will be what we do with them once we get them.
Interested in finding out more about RDC services? Check out our Insider's Guide.