Depositing a check into your business bank account could soon be as easy as snapping a photo with your smartphone.
That’s exactly how Mitek Systems’ new Commercial Mobile Deposit Capture system will allow businesses to deposit checks.
The ability to deposit a check using your smartphone has been available for consumer bank accounts for several years. In fact, 33 million consumers at over 3,000 financial institutions have used their smartphones to deposit checks, avoiding a trip to the bank.
What’s different with Mitek Systems is the ability to make smartphone deposits with a set of business-focused features, including the ability to tie them in with invoices and other related business systems.
Advantages of Smartphone Deposits
With smartphone deposits, small business owners and their employees can snap a picture of a check with a smartphone, and instantly deposit it into the business’s bank account. That means no more driving to the bank or ATM machine. Field sales and service personnel who collect checks from customers won’t have to go back to the home office or mail in the checks.
Deposits can be made anywhere — as long as you have a wireless signal and a smartphone.
And unlike the desktop scanner systems used by some businesses to remotely deposit checks, Mitek’s new solution requires no special hardware.
Businesses that deposit checks with smartphones will enjoy better cash flow management, points out Mitek President and CEO James DeBello. Nearly two-thirds of the 20 billion checks written today are business-related, he said. Mobile deposits give small businesses faster access to the money from these checks. “The deposit to your account is almost immediate.”
The business owner can delegate deposit-making capability, without giving up control over the account. Employees may deposit checks, but the software does not give them authority to conduct other transactions or see account balances.
Mitek’s mobile deposit technology is distributed by DadeSystems, which layers on additional features. Dade’s Dade360 system intelligently connects invoices and other customer documentation with the deposit, making accurate record keeping easier and faster. It integrates with popular accounting and other systems such as QuickBooks and Sage.
The combination of the two companies’ technologies “streamlines and automates the back office workflow,” according to DeBello.
Mobile check deposit is very secure, DeBello says. “Today the systems are in place at banks so that the risk is actually lower for digital images of checks than for manual check handling. The system uses 128-bit encryption. Check images are sent over the Secure Socket Layer. No image is stored on the phone.” That way, if the phone is lost or stolen, the check data is not residing on the phone.
DeBello told us in an interview here at Small Business Trends that he anticipates a “rapid uptake” by small businesses.
He pointed out that many small business people are already depositing checks by phone on their consumer bank accounts. With over 10 percent of the U.S. population using mobile check deposit, it has in DeBello’s words “come to define mobile banking.”
Where to Sign Up for Smartphone Deposits
So how do you sign up to do smartphone deposits on your business bank account?
Talk to your bank.
Banks and other financial institutions such as credit unions, will first have to implement the technology. Then the institutions will in turn offer the solution for their business customers.
DeBello expects that to happen very soon, since so many banks already offer mobile deposits on consumer accounts. In a recent survey by Celent Banking Group, 100 percent of banks said they were planning to or considering offering mobile deposits on commercial accounts.
Most consumer banking customers don’t pay a nickel for mobile deposits, said DeBello, but whether business customers will have to pay fees is up to each bank to decide. “Mitek licenses the technology to financial institutions. The question of a fee, if any, is between the bank and its customers.”
Mitek, headquartered in San Diego, invented mobile check deposits, applying scanning technology to smartphone cameras. The company has 20 patents and another 19 patents pending. DadeSystems, headquartered in Miami, is in the business of receivables processing technology.
See the video or go here for more on how smartphone deposits for commercial accounts work.
Image: Mitek video still
Editor’s note: updated to characterize the new release more accurately.