Lessons Learned from Mobile Check Deposit

Organizations are looking for the next innovation that will transform the way they interact with customers. In the financial services industry, remote deposit capture first entered the market in the early 2000s, and now according to a recent survey by the American Bankers Association, one in seven Americans use mobile check deposit. It is considered the most important development the U.S. banking industry by many.

Financial institutions can apply two lessons from the introduction and deployment of mobile check deposit as they look to digitally transform how they interact with customers:

1) Customers are willing to adopt new technology if it adds convenience;

2) Time to market can mean the difference between being a leader or a follower.

Convenience must delight

Convenience is more than ease of use, it’s about delighting the customer. After all, how convenient is mis-entering digits on a tiny mobile device screen when you’re shifting between letters, numbers and symbols? A recent study by Deloitte found that 46 percent of users struggle seeing and typing on a smartphone screen and 38 percent struggle with transaction complexity. Convenient, maybe. Delightful, no.

Your customer experience competition includes the world’s most successful businesses such as Disney, Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple, who are fanatic about delivering an extraordinary user experience. These companies have set the bar very high. Your customers have likely interacted with a few of these companies on a smartphone, and expect the experience you deliver via your app to measure up.

To delight, you must implement technology that reduces process complexity, improves customer experience, shortens process time and reduces attrition. One area FIs have the opportunity to delight customers is during an onboarding experience, a process that is usually highly manual and internal processes are typically disconnected.

For example, imagine onboarding a new customer for a home equity line of credit (HELOC) in under six minutes. The customer sees an offer from a mobile news app they’re browsing during their child’s soccer practice. They use their photo ID to initiate the process via mobile capture. They go through a few data verification prompts, then transition to a video session with a live agent for a digital signature. The agent completes the HELOC application by sending a welcome pack via email with instructions about the home appraisal. In a few easy minutes, you’ve onboarded a new customer. Delightful, isn’t it?

This scenario can be used to solve other challenges as well, such as onboarding new employees and opening new accounts. According to the Javelin Research report, Making Digital Account Opening Simpler, Safer and Seamless, 80 percent of those planning to apply for credit card accounts would prefer to submit their applications online or using a mobile device. It’s time to give customers more convenience.

Specialize in Banking, not IT

Large banks were early adopters of mobile capture applications, and most had the luxury of employing large IT development teams to launch their mobile capabilities. After an initial success, organizations quickly learned that a one-off capability was not a mobile or digital strategy. Smaller institutions are working to keep up, yet a significant number still don’t offer mobile capabilities, as the biggest barrier to entry is cost. Most FIs lack true mobile platforms, let alone a full strategy, and they are finding that implementing standalone mobile capture apps can be expensive.

The good news is no matter your size, you don’t have to build a mobile or digital platform alone, and you don’t have to settle for piece meal solutions from a variety of vendors. Look for a strategic partner that can deliver scalable and flexible platforms that meet your current needs and anticipate capabilities that will continue to delight customers in the future.

When thinking about your current digital transformation strategy and onboarding capabilities, ask yourself three questions:

  • How many customers, and how much revenue, are you losing due to complex processes?
  • Is your onboarding process simple and engaging?
  • How are you differentiating in this increasingly competitive market?

While a digital transformation might be about mobile first, it is not about mobile only. The seamless switching that customers expect as part of their omni-channel experience, expresses the requirement to provide both physical and digital channels that are equally well connected to effective business operations. A bank engaged in a digital transformation initiative needs to provide more efficient physical channels while accelerating the growth of digital channels, all for the purpose of more successfully engaging customers.

The next technological innovation in banking is ready to delight your customers and earn their loyalty. And you don’t have to do it alone.


David Hultquist is Vice President of Industry Solutions Marketing for Financial Services at Lexmark Enterprise Software. He has over 30 years of experience in the software services industry, including 15 years in financial services software. David has a bachelor’s degree in mathematical sciences from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Written by David Hultquist and Chris Edgington