Consumers are adopting mobile deposit practices at increasingly fast rates, the results of the second annual Mobile Deposit Benchmark Report reveal.
The report, conducted by analyst firm Futurion and sponsored by Mitek, surveyed more than 1,000 American consumers and accessed active deposit accounts at 15 top financial institutions to assess mobile deposit UX across 19 categories.
More than 40 per cent of current mobile deposit users across the United States made the move in the past 12 months, with almost three in four saying they are “very or somewhat likely” to recommend it to others.
“The big finding is it’s growing fast,” Futurion CEO Jim Van Dyke said. “And the growth will continue because there are a lot of people still not using it.”
Banks can be confident mobile deposit is now a mainstream option, Mr. Van Dyke said. Their focus should now be on making it easier to use as many consumers say they would use it more if it was simpler.
That represents a mind-shift for some banks who have not had to prioritize customer service to his level before, Mr. Van Dyke said. This becomes a challenge because with technology, part of the customer service element becomes creating an efficient technological experience between different areas of the operation, something legacy technology and an individualist mentality make hard to do.
“Bankers often view payments as a silo,” Mr. Van Dyke said. “Mobile, point of sale, transfers, they all work together.”
To assess the mobile deposit experience, Futurion took a two-step approach by surveying more than 1,000 American consumers and having mystery shoppers open bank accounts at different banks.
The quality of the mobile deposit app can depend on the size of a bank, Futurion discovered.
“The real problem is going on with banks, not in the window of the top 15,” Mr. Van Dyke said. “The mobile deposit experience at smaller banks isn’t good.”
Smaller banks and most credit unions don’t create their own apps, so they are forced to rely on outside vendors. That is problematic for a few reasons, with a significant one being auto capture capability.
“I haven’t heard of single core processing vendor having auto capture available,” Mr. Van Dyke said.
Most big bank apps do. Of the 15 top banks included in the report, only Chase (T-12) and BB&T (15) did not, Mr. Van Dyke said.
Those smaller institutions must tell developers they need to prioritize auto capture or they risk losing customers, Mr. Van Dyke said. And it is up to app developers, as many phones do not have auto capture and many people are still using older versions.
“Banks can’t rely on the phone technology to take care of the problem,” Mr. Van Dyke said.
Mobile deposit capability has clear benefits to banks as well as their consumers, so it behoves banks to do a better job of encouraging its adoption, Mr. Van Dyke said. This is an area where they often learn at their own pace. Some started out charging mobile deposit fees before eliminating the practice. Some are also removing check deposit limits for mobile deposit, a move Mr. Van Dyke suggests could be a strong motivator for larger players who regularly deal with larger amounts to adopt the practice.
“Deposit limits drive me crazy,” Mr. Van Dyke said. “They’re a recipe for failure. You set deposit limits so low that they cannot deposit one big check.”
Many people automatically fear the security of new technology, so banks must do better at educating them of the security steps they do take, Mr. Van Dyke said. In this banks can be their own worst enemy when they assume most customers, especially younger ones, do not care about security.
In this era of instant communication, the best way to foster adoption of mobile deposit technology is an old school one, Mr. Van Dyke said.
“A high percentage of people said they first heard of mobile deposit from branch staff. They can help with adoption.
“That message needs to get out.”
In the end banks need to send a clear message on mobile deposit practices, Mr. Van Dyke concluded.
“Banks need to come out and say it – using mobile deposit is safe.”
Download a copy of the report here.