Mobile check deposits, also known as mobile remote check deposits or mRCDs, allow bank customers and credit union members to deposit a check from the comfort of their mobile phone. Instead of having to visit a branch to deposit a check, customers and members can now simply take a photo of a check using their financial institution’s mobile app. In this article, we will detail recent technology innovations with mobile check deposits, and we will discuss recent findings regarding how to get customers to use mobile check deposits more frequently.
When discussing mobile check deposits, we must include the publicly traded company Mitek, the global leader in mobile check deposit technology. In the spring of 2018, Mitek recently celebrated the milestone of 2 billion checks being deposited via its mobile check deposit technology. Mitek was able to reach such a milestone as it is used by approximately 6,100 financial institutions across the US, which translates to 98% percent of all financial institutions that provide mobile check deposit options.
Underlying Mobile Check Deposit Technology
While mobile check deposit may appear as simple as snapping a photo of a check with your phone's camera, there is actually some complicated technology operating in the background. Mitek provides this technology and helps ensure that this technology is compliant with recent banking industry regulations.
First, there is a variety of post-image processing that takes place in the background in order to ensure that check photos can be utilized when taken in different lighting conditions, at different angles, and on different surfaces. If a check image cannot be read, the technology can make recommendations to the customer on how to improve their photo, such as requesting “more light.”
Second, several computer vision algorithms “read” your photo of the check in order to convert visual information such as the check number, the account number, and the check amount into transferable text information.
Third, this post-image processing also includes security features to help guarantee the authenticity of the check. These features include the ability to process “photo safe” icons on checks produced by check maker Harland-Clarke. These icons help verify that the front and back image of a check are produced from a single, unique check. Additionally, the technology can read and process check endorsements written by hand on the back of a check.
Customer Insights on Mobile Check Deposits
Customers are motivated to use mobile check deposits for a variety of factors, according to recent data from Mitek’s 2017 Mobile Benchmark Report, and addressing these motivations can result in increased customer and member usage of mobile check deposits. For smaller financial institutions, 39% of customers would use mobile check deposits more if they saw improvements to ease of use, 29% of customers would use mobile check deposits more if they were able to more quickly access their cash, and 33% of customers would use mobile check deposits more if they received further assurances that their checks were satisfactorily deposited.
Additional data regarding challenges with mobile check deposits states that 32% of customers from smaller financial institutions found difficulty getting a clear picture of the check, 8% of customers from smaller financial institutions felt that their funds were not available in a timely manner, and 16% of customers from smaller financial institutions felt unsure if their check went through. Addressing these motivations and challenges in the future will allow financial institutions to realize increased adoption of their mobile check deposit services.
Mitek’s research and development has led to 33 patents and 18 pending patents, and this research has provided a great technology for financial institutions and their customers. Additionally, Mitek makes it easy for mobile app development firms to integrate Mitek software with existing mobile apps from banks and credit unions. Estimates regarding the benefits Mitek mobile check deposit software has provided include saving financial institutions 5 billion in operating costs and saving customers 830 million hours that would have been spent traveling to a branch. To read more regarding mobile banking solutions, check out our post on the benefits mobile video-banking provides for banks and credit unions.
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