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Not too long ago, banks were asking whether they really should invest in Internet banking. Now many are raising the same questions about consumer remote deposit. As my daughter would say, “I don’t get it!”


Our youngest daughter grew up in Vietnam and joined our family when she was 8 years old. She learned English quickly, but understanding idioms and some of our illogical customs remained challenging.


A few months after she joined us, we took her to summer camp along with the rest of her siblings. “It will be fun,” we told her.


She looked around.


“No air conditioning? No TV?”


“I have to share a room with 12 other girls, sleep on an upper bunk, and eat in the dining hall with 100 other people?”


“You have to pay for this?”


“I don’t get it!”


Here’s what I don’t get the reluctance of many banks to adopt consumer remote deposit capture (scanning checks or taking photos on their smartphone and transmitting them to the bank).


A few weeks ago I listened to a presentation by USAA, Chase, and others, about their Consumer RDC strategy.


USAA explained how 35% of deposits now come through remote capture. They explained how they could specifically attribute a 10% increase in total deposit growth to this channel, and how they had plans to continue to grow consumer Remote Deposit to 65% of total. Both USAA and Chase explained how fraud was lower than expected and articulated some of their fraud control techniques. They talked about how the duplicate check problem was really not a problem.


There were lots of questions – mostly about risk.


So I was thinking:


“Consumers become their own proof operators and send checks directly to you, fully imaged.”


“Fraud is lower than regular check deposits.”


“Consumers like this channel, and move their relationship to banks that offer it.”


“But you are still worried, and are holding back because you prefer to have customers take their checks to high cost branches with expensive tellers.”


“I don’t get it!”


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