Scanners are much cheaper than they used to be, but not cheap enough for many small businesses, who are still reluctant to adopt remote deposit capture. "In a sour economy, people are looking at costs," says Bob Meara, an analyst at Celent.

Celent's new report - State of Remote Deposit Capture 2009, New Markets, New Models - found that the poor business climate has slowed the growth of remote deposit capture, which has suffered from delayed launches and reduced deployment at institutions that had already adopted the technology.

About 3,600 financial institutions in the U.S. adopted RDC in the past year, with penetration expected to reach nearly 10,500 - or nearly two-thirds the national bank and credit union market of about 16,300 - by the end of the 2009. These numbers are well below adoption that had been projected in earlier years - Meara says as low as half the rate of previously expected uptake. "The [prior] forecasts were heavily driven by small and mid-sized business adoption," Meara says.

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