Category : Banking

Tap Snap Deposit

Mobile Deposits Are Revolutionizing Banking

Convenient banking no longer requires you visit a branch. With nearly a quarter of all banking deposits now done remotely with Remote Deposit Capture (RDC), customers can deposit checks from the convenience of their own homes.

Mobile DepositThis trend is growing by a staggering 10 percent, while in-bank visits are dropping by the same margin. Our unwavering reliance on our Smart Phones allows for a more convenient method of banking that will be more cost efficient for banks in the long run.

The average cost of a Mobile Deposit Capture is $0.10, compared to $4.25 for an in-person visit. For a bank, this can amount to $50 in annual savings per customer, and over $1.5 Billion in industry savings.

Remote Deposit Capture works by having a user snap a picture of both sides of the check, easily and conveniently through a mobile banking app. The ease of use allows for a quick and seamless transaction on any major mobile operating system.

In August 2009, the San Antonio-based Insurance and Financial Services Institution USAA, which primarily serves military personnel, was the first to unveil mobile deposit with their “Deposit@Mobile” feature on their iPhone App. USAA Bank cited the program as a significant convenience for a large majority of its military clients who are deployed across the country and may not have access to a local branch.

Convenient BankingAs of 2013, the “Big 4” of American banking all offer some sort of mobile check deposit. Regional banks have also started to unveil similar services. The primary theme in marketing this new trend has been the convenience, ease and accessibility of the programs. Anyone with a smart phone can enlist and deposit from anywhere. Dedham Institution for Savings, a mutually owned financial institution with over a billion dollars in assets and over 180 years of experience, markets their program with “Tap. Snap. Deposit. Now you can deposit checks from anywhere with mobile deposit”. Citibank offers a similar slogan with “Sign, Snap, Submit. Deposit Checks from anywhere with the Citi Mobile app.” This trend is present throughout the industry, as ease of use and convenience are the main drivers in promoting Remote Deposit Capture.

Similar to other banking industry changes, smaller banks will follow suit of the “Big 4” and offer this service, creating an industry standard. As the trend grows, in-branch deposits might continue to see a sharp decline in favor of mobile remote deposits. Much like ATM withdrawals, mobile deposits may become the favored method of banking.

BP-what-women-want

What Women Want… From Banks That Is

The question that men have been struggling to find an answer to for years and years: what do women want? While this question may never be answered completely, we have an idea of what women want from their banks. According to MasterCard Worldwide, 95% of women make financial decisions for their households. This is an astonishing number that shows how involved women are in the everyday choices that go into planning and purchasing items for a household. Women are also controlling more and more of the total population’s wealth. It is said that currently, women control $8 trillion of the nation’s total wealth.

With this information available, banks should undoubtedly be gearing themselves more towards women than in the past as women’s roles in the business world and the public stage continue to grow. Unlike men, who try to accumulate as much wealth as possible while providing for their families, women are more concerned with improving their lives while providing for their family. Men often get competitive with money and compare themselves with the next guy, but women tend to only be concerned with their own family’s well being. Banks need to keep this in mind while creating promotions and services and work with women to help them achieve these goals.

Something else women value highly in a bank is trust. Being able to trust what a bank does, how they handle your money, and what helpful advice advisors provide goes a long way when trying to keep women customers happy. Women, as opposed to men, like to talk about their finances with advisors and talk their way through financial planning. This difference is key for banks because having the ability to effectively communicate ideas and financial strategies to women is a large part of winning over women customers.

All in all, when it comes to dealing with women customers in banking, delivery and the level of assistance are crucial. It is vital to talk through what their financial plans are and what decisions they should make. Being personable and providing excellent help are extremely important focus points for banks to win over their female customers.

How to Avoid The Catch-22 Of Personal Banking

Dissatisfied with your Bank of America or Citibank account but reluctant to switch? Join the club. Javelin’s 2012 Financial Institution Vulnerability Index indicates that about 11% of consumers surveyed in March 2012 indicate they are at risk of switching primary financial institutions in the coming year, putting $675 billion in deposits at risk. Despite the fact that Bank Transfer Day gave an open window for Americans to protest banking fees by switching from The Big Four (Citi, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Chase,) they chose not to. And for a compelling reason: The Big Four have a monopoly on banking convenience.

Wanted to switch from the cable provider that’s been giving you nightmares couldn’t because your apartment landlord prohibits installing a dish? The same can be said of the banking industry. While community banks and credit unions often offer better quality customer service and lower rates, they are unfortunately restricted by a Catch-22.

Military financial service company USAA, for example, offers reimbursement for every ATM fee along with consistently high ratings for customer satisfaction. The Catch-22? There are no physical locations, meaning that all deposits must be done through a UPS store, mail, or online. Thus, despite the peace-of-mind of not having to pay $3.00 for every non-Bank of America transaction, I seldom use my USAA account. Instead, I often find myself making another disgruntled phone call to one of my “Giant Bank” accounts disputing a service fee or balance inquiry fee.

Much like cable companies often exploit their “apartment satellite install policy” customers with escalating monthly fees and dismal customer service, the Big Four finagle their customers by using their mobile and online banking convenience to validate their excessive fees. Meanwhile, regional banks are often left to settle for scraps.

What regional banks can do:
Engage in mobile and online banking: Local banks and credit unions are notorious for being “behind-the-times” when it comes to using technology with banking. (Hence, many don’t even have a Facebook and Twitter page.) This stigmatizes smaller banks as being inconvenient and disadvantages them in comparison to the giant banks. Engaging in “on-the-go” banking will repudiate this stigma and offset the need for an ATM/branch on every corner.
Emphasize the lower fees and better customer service: If it weren’t for a friend recommendation, I never would have known about USAA and its ATM-fee reimbursement. The bliss of not having to call the Big Four’s hotline regarding a fee gives local banks and credit unions a significant advantage. Smaller banks don’t emphasize this strongly enough.

Bank Transfer Day revealed the Giant Banks’ vulnerability. Javelin’s 2012 Financial Institution Vulnerability Index also indicated that an astounding 25% of Citibank and 21% of Bank of America customers were likely or very likely to switch. Regional banks and credit unions have a great opportunity to acquire these disenchanted customers and make their bank their primary financial provider. This could be the moment where customers finally consider their local banks as a long term option.