What are businesses looking for from RDC solutions? It depends on who you ask.
For example, mobile RDC, which has made significant headway with consumers and some large enterprises, isn’t always a sure bet for small businesses. “There are a significant number of small businesses, regardless of size, that aren’t all that interested in the attributes of business mobile RDC solutions,” explained Bob Meara, a Senior Analyst at Celent who tracks RDC trends. “Existing solutions [i.e.: modified consumer mRDC] are tolerable, especially if they’re free.”
Also, many smaller firms prefer desktop banking solutions over mobile. Malauzai Software, which tracks usage of its digital applications among client financial institutions’ customers, has found an overwhelming preference among smaller businesses for PCs. Fewer than 10% of active business banking logins are made via smartphones. “[A]ll other is desktop,” said Robb Gaynor, Malauzai’s Chief Product Officer.
Many larger businesses, on the other hand, may be interested in mobile RDC, but not as a standalone solution. “Larger companies want solutions that integrate desktop and mobile,” said Meara.
Of equal, if not greater importance is integration with other payment channels as well as backend corporate systems. “Back end posting is critical, but it can be time-consuming and error-prone,” said Zac Robinson, Director of Sales and Marketing at Financial Transmission Network Inc. (FTNI). “There are technologies that can streamline and automate that.”
FTNI’s ETran Integrated Receivables leverages these technologies to enable businesses to accept, process and post remittance transactions regardless of payment method (cash, card, check, ACH) or channel (online, mobile, in person, by mail) all on one cloud-based platform. Earlier this month the Omaha-based company announced Lincoln Investment Planning, a full-service broker-dealer with over $30 billion in assets, was implementing the platform to streamline the processing of payments received at corporate and branch offices. Chris Kelm, Vice President of Operations at Lincoln, described being able to consolidate the processing and posting of disparate payment types as “a big benefit to Lincoln and our clients. As we continue to evolve our operations surrounding payment processing, the ability to achieve straight-through processing on a single platform is a truly exciting evolution for us,” Kelm said.
So what should businesses be looking for in RDC solutions?
Business Considerations: RDC Value Calculator
First things first: estimate how much value RDC can drive for the business. The best place to start is the RDC Business Value Proposition Calculator. Developed by RemoteDepositCapture.com, the RDC calculator has been used by tens of thousands of companies to understand the core value proposition of RDC to their organizations. In addition to being available at RemoteDepositCapture.com, several banks have licensed the calculator for their web sites.
For businesses, the primary variables the calculator uses to determine the value created by RDC are:
- Total number of deposits
- Value and volume of checks deposited
- Cost and time of going bank branch to deposit checks
Of course, the value RDC can deliver businesses extends beyond core costs. Additional value considerations will vary by organization and include:
- Time and cost savings from eliminating data entry routines
- Ability to systematically update accounting and other back-end systems
- Eliminating the risks of physically transporting deposits
Business Considerations: Desktop, Mobile, or Combination?
Mobile is a hot technology, particularly with individuals. But when it comes to their business lives Americans are less mobile-inclined. A recent survey by the banking analytics firm RateWatch, for example, revealed that 69% of small business owners do not have a positive perception of mobile banking services.
“Surprising opportunity remains with boring old commercial desktop RDC after all these years,” said Meara. While business mobile deployments lag, Celent’s research suggests desktop RDC deployments are growing at double digit rates, he noted.
These are factors that play into the business case for mobile deposit:
- Geography. Companies with geographically dispersed operations collecting checks (e.g.: branch offices, mobile sales forces) should consider the faster posting and clearing opportunities mobile offers.
- Size, number and mix of payments to be collected. “Payment volume is relative,” Robinson noted. What matters most are the resources required to collect and post payments. Some companies with sales staff in the field may not want those employees scanning every check they receive, preferring instead to take in daily batches of checks and related documents from those employees at physical office locales. Check values sway preferences, as the cash flow improvements from faster clearing cannot be underestimated. “That’s where the real value is for merchants,” said Xan Kasprzak, Vice President for Risk Management and Client Relations at Ensenta. Payment mix also can be an important consideration; businesses already accepting mobile card payments may find mRDC a logical add on that many terminal and solution providers can readily support.
- Integration. A standalone mRDC application may work for some businesses, but increasingly companies are looking for RDC solutions that integrate mobile and desktop functionality. “Too often solutions are siloed,” Kasprzak noted. “A convergence of mobile, tabletop and back office solutions makes more sense.”
Next Up: Financial Institution versus Third-Party Providers
This is an ongoing series. The next installment will examine considerations for businesses in selecting solution providers. Feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments and suggestions.