According to comScore, as of September 2013, 147.9M people in the U.S. now own smartphones. With nearly 50% of smartphone owners using mobile banking, it is more important than ever for financial institutions to make a strategic investment into the mobile space.
Mobile Imaging Blog
I am looking forward to presenting at ATM Debit and Prepaid Expo at the Bellagio! This should be a good event, with lots of dialogue about where financial services is headed. In my presentation, we will explore a trend that we are seeing in consumer’s expectations regarding mobile banking – from mobile also to mobile first.
In Gartner's May 16, 2013 report App Explosion: Lessons From the Top 20 Banks author Kristin Moyer noted:
“Nearly 75% of banking CIOs and digital technology leaders plan to increase spending on mobile apps this year. We advise that banks develop an app road map based on need-based functionality and impact on net profits.”
The usage of smartphones continues to escalate. The newest figures from Nielsen suggest that 61% of all phones are now smartphones. And the percentages are even higher for those under 35 years of age. The convenience is compelling, and there is a growing population of people who will ONLY interact with their banks via mobile. So, what is the right strategy?
I am pleased to have been in NYC at the DevCon5 conference, talking about advances and innovation in HTML5 and many other related topics. It is quite clear that the current excitement around mobile imaging and modern trends in mobile web modernization are “pulling on the same rope” and are clearly complementary.
In the last post, I outlined a number of notable trends in consumer behavior related to bill payments. Since ease of use and simplicity will be critical, we believe that Mobile Photo Bill Pay is a key innovation. The product concept is simple – take a picture of your bill, and it is paid. Or you are enrolled in e*bill. Your choice. No fat-fingering. And it is optimized for smartphones or tablets – using the device that is already in your purse.
To push the industry forward, NACHA has developed a standard for using QR codes on bills to encode all of the information necessary to pay the bill, or enroll in e*bill. Mitek is pleased to be a participant in the testing of that standard.
Last week, I was pleased to have had the opportunity to participate at the NACHA CEBP event in Chicago. At that meeting, we discussed a number of important trends in bill payment, and drivers impacting customer behavior. After 2 days, a few themes emerged.
In recent blog posts, I discussed the Mobile Enrollment Conundrum – the challenge of optimizing mobile enrollment (which everyone wants) while managing identity risk. Intelligent Mobile Imaging is a key component of the solution, in which a four-step process is used to make a complex process look simple for the user. The starting point is a verifiable document that the user can simply “snap” (example: Drivers License). So, how does that work?
First, Driver’s Licenses are a complex document, intentionally, to make it difficult to fake. The name or address is often obscured by a watermark or other overlay. Some text is light-on-dark, while others are dark-on-light. The face of the document is reflective, making for some interesting issues.
Q. In your case study, you mentioned that it was the members who really pushed for Mobile Deposit. What kind of inquiries did you get?
A. Being in a very high tech market in Seattle, we actually heard a lot of feedback from our members wanting the ability to make check deposits from their mobile phones almost from the day the technology was announced. This feedback only escalated once the big banks, especially those in our market, went live with their solutions.
Q. When did you start seeing interest in Mobile Deposit and when did it reach critical mass to where you realized it was something you wanted to bring to BECU?
A. We saw interest almost from the day the technology was announced and as an organization we were also interested in pursuing the solution but it was just a matter of when. We felt it really reached critical mass when the local big banks (BofA, Chase, etc.) made it available to their customers.
In the last blog post, I outlined the Mobile Enrollment Conundrum – the challenge of optimizing mobile enrollment (which everyone wants) while managing identity risk (which enterprises need). The challenge in this is making a technically complex process in to something simple for the user.
Intelligent Mobile Imaging is the solution. Intelligent Mobile Imaging is more than just capturing data with a mobile device camera – it is the ability to analyze that data and create actionable information for organizations. For mobile enrollment, the user simply snaps a picture of their drivers’ license, and that is all the technical knowledge or education they need.
Smartphone and tablet use is exploding, and this growing population of mobile device users is demanding simple, easy-to-access services. Mobile adopters have many choices, which results in rapid buying decisions, often based on the ease of the experience with which they are presented. At the same time, organizations want to attract customers to new products and services, and these “digital natives” are a highly sought-after group.
Just a few short years ago, I stood on a stage in Orlando at an industry event and talked about our vision for using the camera on a smartphone to capture images of a check to make a deposit. To put it mildly, those in the audience were skeptical. Today nearly a thousand banks have signed to deploy Mobile Deposit and those skeptics are no longer skeptical. Since that time Mitek has grown our product portfolio and expanded to new industries. With Mitek’s patented mobile imaging, you can also pay a bill or get an auto insurance quotation.
Five years since the inception of Mobile Deposit®, and three since it’s first deployment, Mitek’s Mobile Deposit has revolutionized the financial industry in a way that no other technology has in as short a time span.
A few fast facts on customers’ and banks’ love for mobile deposit:
- More than 12 million Americans already enjoy the freedom of depositing checks quickly and easily from their smartphones or tablets.
- More than 708 banks and credit unions have signed agreements to provide Mitek’s Mobile Deposit to their customers.
Q&A with Jeff Casey, Senior Vice President at First Financial Bank, N.A., Abilene Texas
Q: First Financial is the first regional bank in the country to
offer Mobile Photo Bill Pay – you are calling the service "Picture
Pay" - how did this come about?
Jeff: With the popularity of First Financial’s mobile services and mobile deposit in particular, consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with mobile financial services. With smartphone sales outpacing PC sales, consumers are forgoing the traditional desktop or laptop and choosing mobile or tablets as their primary connection method. We realized that we can’t force our customers to flow through the online channel. We didn’t want to bolt on a mobile delivery option with our online services – We wanted a distinct mobile channel that could stand on its own. As part of our mobile strategy it was important to have a robust mobile check deposit solution and bill pay solution.
If you’re like me, you love seeing data displayed in infographics. To recap a year of explosive growth in mobile adoption, we put together a graphic that highlights some of this year’s most interesting stats. Did you know that more than half of U.S. consumers own smartphones and one third of U.S. mobile users are also mobile banking users?
Take a peek at our graphic to see some great industry data points and Mitek’s 2012 milestones. Please feel free to share it with your colleagues and friends.
In 2012 mobile imaging technology took several steps forward with widespread adoption of our Mobile Deposit solution as well as some exciting introductions of new mobile applications that enable consumers to do things more easily, instantly and on the go from their mobile devices. For example:
- Car insurance quotes became instantaneous with the world’s first mobile photo insurance quoting app from Progressive.
I was sitting in the office of a senior executive of a major bank a couple years ago when he said "It really bugs me that despite all the work I put into innovation, a consumer can essentially walk across the street and get the same service I offer from a different bank."
At Mitek, we have been seen an explosion of mobile remote deposit capture (RDC) applications across the financial services industry. We’ve helped some of the largest banks in the country launch mobile deposit and prepaid services that take advantage of the convenience, simplicity and security of mobile RDC. And while we love to trumpet the big names that we work with, we don’t want to forget about some of the smaller players who are using mobile banking as a huge competitive advantage, namely credit unions.
From the telephone to the iPhone, the United States has long led the world in innovation. The U.S. system of intellectual property rights, patent laws, and trademark protection fosters an environment of technological progress that encourages the birth of great American companies and allows them to protect their inventions and thrive.
Michael Diamond is senior vice president of business development at Mitek
I was speaking recently with a friend of mine about how Mitek is transforming a dull, time-intensive banking activity (making a trip to the bank to deposit a check) into a fun, efficient activity (taking a picture of the check wherever you are and depositing it). He mused that this is the “Southwest Airlines Transformation” of the banking industry, and went on to remark that Southwest has trained its customers to line up on their own, board the plane, and select their own seat. He said if Southwest could figure out how to get their customers to fly the plane themselves, he was sure they’d do it. He went on to remark on how many of us not only purchase our groceries, but also scan, pay, and bag the groceries ourselves.