We had the opportunity yesterday to sit in on an informative webinar about the future of image capture, hosted by Orbograph and Orbograph_logo_3D_white_tagfeaturing Vijay Balakrishnan of StratEx. Vijay has been involved in the imaging business for many, many years, and in addition to providing an interesting history lesson, he offered some intriguing observations:

Mobile Remote Deposit Capture is at risk of decline unless image quality problems are solved

Your average mobile banking customer is not a great photographer, nor is s/he familiar with banking image quality standards. So perhaps it’s not surprising that around 25% of attempted mobile RDC deposits are rejected due to poor image quality. Given consumers’ notoriously low tolerance for a frustrating user experience, Balakrishnan thinks we may see an emerging trend where many customers sign up for mobile RDC, but few continue to actually use the service. So analysts’ predictions of huge growth may not come true unless we see rapid improvement in ease-of-use. “Training” the customer through more informative error messages, for example, could be a first step toward remedying the situation.

In our opinion, this problem could have the most dramatic impact on banks and credit unions paying for outsourced mobile RDC services on a per-user-per-month basis, instead of a flat rate or per-item rate. Lots of customers racking up expenses, but no operational savings to show for it, would make a losing situation for everyone.

Which are we trying for – efficiency, or customer service?

Banks are moving toward an increasingly electronic relationships with the customer; however, we’re also telling them they should invest in branch-based technologies like teller capture equipment. Is somebody wrong?

Not necessarily, according to Balakrishnan. Addressing operational efficiency and the customer experience are two separate goals that do not always require the same means to achieve; nor is it an either/or choice. In large part, which way they lean is just a strategy decision. One thing that is certain: There is still an incredible number of paper documents floating through the U.S. banking system – 20-25 billion checks annually, which is more than the rest of the world combined.

Obviously, these were only two small sub-topics that the webinar touched on, but that’s all the space we have for now. Thanks again to Orbograph for putting on a useful and educational event!