Deposit a Check with Your Smartphone Camera?
Have any checks in your wallet or purse you need to deposit? ATM nearby? If not and you own a smartphone (iPhone, Android or Windows OS), you might want to use its camera and mobile imaging software. Take a photo, enter your checking account info, transmit it over the mobile Internet, shred the check and forget it.
Despite the “paperless society” promised by techno gurus for years and the growth of mobile banking (12 million users), 30 BILLION checks are issued and processed each year in the United States. Stacked end-to-end, those six inch wide documents would stretch from the Earth to the moon and back.
Why are consumers and businesses so endeared to paper checks? Jim DeBello, President and CEO of Mitek Systems, a document and mobile imaging company, believes our financial culture is the cause. We’re as addicted to checks as credit cards. In fact, 50% of all financial transactions, per DeBello, are check-driven. Face it, we love paper.
And it’s not only the U.S. Four billion checks are issued in France and one billion in India each year, despite the rising growth of mobile commerce and cell phone micropayments in developing areas of the world.
With the rising acceptance of mobile online banking, remote deposit of checks is the latest wave in mobile banking. It saves time, reduces fraud and makes bankers very, very happy. After all, they’re in the business of collecting money and making loans. Getting customers to deposit a check faster means more cash in the til.
Mitek Systems, Document Imaging and Smartphone Apps
For over twenty years, Mitek Systems has the industry in document scanning providing its imaging technology to the top five financial institutions, including Bancorp, in the U.S. Its ImagePROVE technology converts a camera-equipped phone (2 megapixel minimum) into a mobile document scanner that reads and captures data, then securely transmits transactions using 128 bit encryption.
Mitek provides business users with applications for faxing, copying and searching documents, recording expense receipts and depositing checks directly into bank accounts – all available on the leading mobile platforms.
Mitek’s “Ooomph” (Office on My Phone) suite of apps for smartphones with cameras include mobile deposit, mobile receipt and mobile “Phax” (fax) that even converts a document image into a PDF file for emailing. Before transmitting over the wireless Internet, Mitek cleans up the image and ensures that deposit data meet bank check 21 security compliance.
Will mobile technology replace brick and mortar banking? As Jim explains in the podcast interview, probably not. The need for personal interactions with bank staff will remain important to all but die-hard techno-types. Most of us will always want to engage a real person for some of our banking needs even if we use online banking and deposit a check with our smartphones.
Jim DeBello of Mitek Systems
Jim DeBello, President and CEO of Mitek, joined the company in 1994. Before Mitek, he served as CEO of AsiaCorp Communications & IdeaEdge Ventures, President and CEO of CollegeClub.com, COO of Wireless Knowledge and VP and GM of Qualcomm’s Eudora Internet Division. He holds a B.A and M.B.A. from Harvard University, and was a Rotary Scholar at the University of Singapore where he studied economics and Chinese.
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