Mobile Deposit Proven To Be A Critical Component Of Growing Wallet Share

Mountain America Credit Union positions itself for the future of self-service banking.


After launching its mobile remote deposit capture (RDC) application in 2011, Mountain America Credit Union ($3.2B, West Jordan, UT), discovered an unexpected result. The solution quickly became a driving factor in building wallet share with younger members.

“The dual benefits of building banking relationships with a younger demographic as well as increasing the credit union’s wallet share with these members makes the service valuable to MACU,” says Tony Rasmussen, senior vice president of eServices.

Bringing Mobile Deposit To Members

The credit union launched RDC with minimal promotion in 2011, yet usage has surged over 1,800% since the initial release. Within the first year, the credit union has processed more than 100,000 mobile deposit transactions totaling nearly $36.5 million.

Usage of the service has grown fastest within MACU’s 18 to 34 age demographic. RDC users now rank among the credit union’s most profitable individuals and frequently use a greater amount of services than average MACU member.

“We see a higher ratio of mobile banking, mobile deposit, and internet banking users signing up for credit cards and other types of loans than those members who aren’t using these services,” Rasmussen says.

“We are following up our initial success in the application’s soft launch with a mass market campaign including television ads and prevalent in-branch displays.”

Early Adoption Positions Credit Unions As Technology Innovators

One of the first community financial institutions in the country to launch a mobile deposit service, MACU has offered a home-based RDC application to members since 2006. Consistent growth of deposits in this channel is part of what prompted executives to consider adding mobile deposit to their offerings.

In 2010, MACU was receiving an average of 800 deposits a month through home deposit, with more than $2.6 million in total deposits that year, Rasmussen says.

“With the continued use of checks ─ even at a reduced level ─ there is an established need for self-service deposit channels,” he says.

According to a 2011 survey conducted by international research and consulting firm Celent, the move from home deposit to mobile deposit will gain momentum as 52% of financial institution executives report they plan to adopt a mobile capture solution in lieu of a home capture solution.

 “Mobile deposit is being adopted by previous users of home deposit who found the process too cumbersome as well as an entirely new segment of users attracted to the latest in banking apps,” Rasmussen says. 

Embracing The Shift In Banking Preferences

The decision to proceed with the mobile deposit service was bolstered by an overall shift in how consumers conduct financial transactions as well as the continued growth in popularity of iPhones, Android devices, and other smartphones. According to Forrester Research, by 2013 48% of all mobile phones will be smartphones.

Anticipating this shift early allowed MACU to compete on the same level with larger financial institutions who were on the cutting-edge of self-service.

“In terms of service, convenience, and ease of use, our members compare the credit union to every other organization with which they transact business,” says Rasmussen. “We need to be at the forefront of technology services, driven by member needs and expectations. In fact, we work hard to be ready to provide services our members will need before they realize they need them. Mobile check deposit is that kind of offering.”

The Value Of Widespread Adoption

According to the 2011 FMSI Teller Line Study of Community Banks and Credit Unions, decreased teller transaction volume and a rise in labor costs is fueling the allure of lower cost banking channels. 

The report states, “[Mobile deposit] allows customers to deposit checks without having to step foot in a branch or use an ATM. The convenience factor of this service will be a major competitive advantage for those institutions that have the capability.” 

With the cost-per-transaction at the teller line reaching $1 in 2011, there is a strong impetus among financial institutions to shift some in-branch transactions to a self-service channel.  A recent Celent survey reports that approximately 25% of branch transactions will migrate to self-service within the next five years.

Selecting The Right Vendor

Credit unions should look for an RDC solution that will consolidate check deposits across all their capture points into a single batch for MICR correction and cross-channel duplicate detection as well as create a single cash letter for transit items.

MACU selected Bluepoint Solutions’ QwikDeposit ToGo because of its ability to combine deposits from the mobile channel with check images captured at the teller line and from members’ homes.

“The ability to process deposits using a single application meant our employees wouldn’t have to learn a cumbersome new process or adapt to significant changes in their workflow,”   Rasmussen says. “We wanted to make sure all of our check deposits were combined into a single workflow for more efficient processing, no matter where they originate.”

The Future Of Self-Service Banking

In addition to an ability to make check deposits, the credit union’s mobile banking apps also allow members to view account statements and history, transfer funds between accounts, pay bills, and even track their stock portfolio, reducing traffic in other service channels.

Self-service banking channels and particularly mobile apps remain a priority for MACU as it considers offering new services to its members.

“The growing popularity of mobile devices worldwide all but guarantees that at some point people will be using mobile devices more frequently than computers to shop, communicate, and do their banking,” Rasmussen says. “These services are what we at MACU would call a necessity.

Bluepoint Solutions provides end-to-end payment processing and content management solutions to community financial institutions. Over 1,400 credit unions and community banks nationwide have deployed its enterprise technology, including the largest corporate credit unions and credit union service organizations in the country. Learn more at



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