New Dominion Bank in Charlotte, N.C., is trying to make every day Bank Transfer Day.
"There are a lot of upset retail clients when it comes to the bigger banks," says Chris Block, senior vice president and treasurer of the $270-million asset New Dominion.
The community bank rolled out remote deposit capture (from Wausau) and began marketing it locally several months ago. It believes this has given it a first-mover advantage that may continue even though its largest competitor, Bank of America, debuted the feature in early August.
"With our competitors not having rolled it out here when we first deployed, and the fact that there's a lot of people who don't even know [mobile RDC] exists yet, there's an opportunity," Block says.
Bank of America (BAC), which did not return requests for comment by Thursday morning, was two years behind Chase in offering remote check capture.
Although Block would not divulge adoption numbers, the feature has been popular among New Dominion customers. "We don't have a large branch presence. And what we find is that most people don't have a ton of paper checks so they need the convenience of being able to deposit the checks that they do get in a timely manner without having to take a trip to the bank," he says. New Dominion's website lists only two locations.
To keep attracting customers from its large-bank competition, New Dominion plans to expand mobile RDC to businesses shortly. It has also introduced new small business-oriented services such as remote cash capture for consumer cash payments, which allows businesses to receive daily credit for cash deposits made to a "smart safe." Smart safes use a reader to record cash as it's fed through a slot into the safe. The information is transmitted to the bank's network, which gives businesses credit for the deposit, and allows the physical armored vehicle pickups to happen once per week instead of daily.
The bank has also rolled out a new lockbox service aimed at private practice healthcare providers. The medical lockbox works like a wholesale lockbox, but the bank matches each explanation of benefits form to the original claim and displays each side by side. This allows all remittances to be imaged and archived on the front end.
While mobile remote deposit capture is proving popular with consumers and other smaller banks have found it useful in attracting new business, the technology's differentiating powers may be fleeting. "If it is a lure for a customer to move to any bank, it is going to be relatively short-lived as most banks will have this capability," says Stessa Cohen, a research director at Gartner.
Gartner reports that consumer use of mobile banking has increased 74% in the past year. Cohen says institutions need to prepare for increased use of the channel by identifying "bridge applications" that use the smartphone to make an existing banking activity easier or faster for consumers. Mobile RDC is a good example of that, since it moves consumers away from information-based mobile use to a more active, functional use.