The world of small business remote deposit capture has been a boon for those who have jumped on the wave. According to Celent, there are nearly 15 million small businesses in the market for an RDC solution, and five million will become adopters over the next five years. Furthermore, by year's end more than 7,200 financial institutions will have an RDC solution, up from 3,800 at the end of last year.

In late August, Digital Check Corp. began shipping its first batch of single-feed check scanner CheXpress CX30, its first mass-market offering. Celent senior analyst Bob Meara says the device is a perfect machine at the perfect time.

"As RDC evolves from what was once a fairly targeted treasury management product that was designed to gather fee income to a broadly deployed product designed to gather deposits, small business is going to be absolutely key to this whole effort," Meara says. "Most of the desktop check capture devices were designed to be used in really high-volume cycle operations for eight hours a day and would last for millions of uses. That was frankly overkill for a small business that might have a dozen checks a day."

The device's non-contact scan heads can read printed checks with MICR intensity ranging from 40 to 200 percent as well as support 300 and 240 dpi scanning in black and white, grayscale and color-all at a price that is 25 percent cheaper than what the company has charged in the past for a similar single-feed check scanner, says Digital Check's director of marketing and product development Paul Rupple.

As technological innovations compound, prices skyrocket. In the world of remote deposit capture, though, Digital Check, which generated over $30 million in revenues last year, has been able to buck that trend with the CheXpress CX30. While banks have traditionally paid more than $1,000 for RDC offerings, CheXpress goes for less than $500 per device. Or, if a small business customer were so inclined, they could lease the product for $20-25 per month.

"What's prevented small businesses from signing up for remote deposit capture in the past is most banks are charging anywhere from a $1,000 to $1,500 for a sign-up fee," Rupple says. "With this device and with our RDC Quick Start program, they can just roll that into a monthly payment for the customer and there is no startup fee." While Digital Check, which is based out of the Chicago area, declined to release how many units they've sold, Meara says that as far as volume is concerned, Panini North America is the No. 1 RDC vendor followed closely by Digital Check.

"As RDC evolves two things are going to be paramount, particularly for banks. One is to have a low-cost solution. Secondly is for that solution to be reliable and CheXpress delivers on both of these," Meara says.

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