From the June 2012 issue of Treasury & Risk magazine

Remote Deposit Goes Mobile

J.P. Morgan rolls out a remote deposit capture app for mobile devices, and Bank Of America is close behind.

Remote deposit capture lets businesses scan checks and transmit the images to the bank, rather than taking checks to the bank to deposit. Now banks are making life even easier by rolling out remote deposit capture (RDC) applications for business customers’ mobile devices. In April, J.P. Morgan Treasury Services launched its Image Deposit Direct (IDD) Mobile RDC application, which is available on Apple devices. Bank of America plans to roll out a mobile RDC app in the first quarter of 2013.

J.P. Morgan piloted its app with six corporate clients, including Ben E. Keith Co., a Fort Worth, Texas-based beverage distributor with a fleet of 330 delivery trucks.

The RDC app lets Ben E. Keith drivers capture check images remotely, rather than having to stop and deposit checks, which speeds up payments processing, improves efficiency and reduces risk exposure, according to Marilyn Jones, the company’s director of process improvement.

Deploying IDD Mobile is relatively simple, says Joe Hussey, executive director at J.P. Morgan Treasury Services. “New users can be depositing within the first day, once their company’s internal IT security organization allows them to download the application and configure it.”

Companies can set up IDD Mobile to deposit checks directly and have treasury staffers review the deposits later, or have check images captured, reviewed by treasury and then deposited.

Hussey views IDD Mobile as an add-on to the bank’s RDC desktop system, but notes that it can be used as a stand-alone application via a browser-based interface. However, none of the companies that piloted the app deployed it that way, he says.

In the next few months, J.P. Morgan plans to release a version of IDD Mobile for Android devices, and it is evaluating whether to support BlackBerries and other operating environments.

At Bank of America, “we’ve developed our prototype and had several clients provide feedback,” says Cindy Murray, the bank’s head of global treasury product infrastructure, platforms and ecommerce.

Although the offering targets small businesses, Murray says it’s also applicable to a subset of BofA’s corporate customers. But she adds, “If a client is already using RDC capabilities via a scanner, I don’t believe that they will use a mobile phone, unless it happens to be a niche business like some sort of distributor or insurance agent.”

Industry watchers agree mobile RDC apps will be most attractive to companies with a sales and delivery force that accepts checks, such as distributors. “In some cases, they may take credit or debit card payments, but frequently they are paid by check,” says Bob Meara, senior banking analyst at research firm Celent.

 

For more on mobile remote deposit capture, see Mobility, Agility and Clouds Ahead.

Read about how Southeastern Freight Lines chose remote deposit capture over a lockbox here.

 

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