As banks reinvest in technology to serve the small business segment — a recent Novantas survey found 56% of banks increasing their small business IT investments — vendors are stepping up their offerings in this category. An example is Wausau, which is rolling out an expanded version of its Deposit 24/7 remote deposit capture product this week that includes help with onboarding small business customers. Fifth Third is evaluating the new software.

"We see this segment as a key strategic component to our current and future business; we have spent and continue to spend a lot of human and capital resources to target this market," says Pat Alcox, vice president and director of accounts payable and accounts receivables product management at the Cincinnati-based, $11 billion regional bank. "This market has been traditionally underserved, and there are huge opportunities," Alcox says. "We've seen that in the past and we will continue to see it in the future."

The bank has been using Wausau's existing remote deposit capture product for six years. The software lets customers deposit checks by scanning them with a desktop device.

The expanded version of the software includes a marketing toolkit to help financial institutions design campaigns promoting RDC benefits, including improved cash flow, convenience and operational efficiency; an online enrollment form for financial institutions to expedite the customer on-boarding process; training guides, videos, and webinars; a risk monitoring application that provides duplicate detection, velocity and dollar limits and image analytics; the ability to accept multiple payment channels — including checks, ACH payments, and soon, credit cards processed through the RDC application; and the capturing of non-check items, including remittance payments, envelopes and for customer on-boarding, risk monitoring, training, and marketing.

Fifth Third plans to evaluate the upgraded 24/7 Deposit product next year. "It's something that on the surface seems to have a lot of value to this market," Alcox says. "Small business banking customers are similar to mid-market and large corporate customers in that they're cash sensitive and focused on how to effectively manage their cash position. Anything like this that helps our customer more effectively or efficiently run their business is something we're interested in learning more about."

According to research from Aite Group, half of U.S. small businesses would consider using remote deposit capture services through their financial institutions as a way to save time, increase convenience and provide cost savings. Only 5% of small businesses use the technology today.