April 5, 2011 – Like a summer basketball game at the playground, mobile banking tech firms are trash talking over how mobile remote deposit capture should be offered, though their real dispute is about who can best calm the nerves of banks worried about missing out on the high demand for mobile RDC because of time to market issues.

Much of the jawing followed mFoundry's recent launch of mDeposit Express, a standalone mobile RDC product that banks can use to provide customers with a fast-deploying mobile RDC product, regardless of their current mobile banking platform, with an implementation time of 30 days or less-along with the option to add mobile banking later.

mFoundry's competitors think mobile RDC is most conveniently served as part of a meal that includes mobile banking-while mFoundry says its incremental options are indeed a complete menu. The battle over who's right will be determined by the size of the yet-to-emerge market of banks that want mobile RDC before mobile banking-mFoundry thinks this subset will be larger than its competitors do.

Andrew Tilbury, a director for Bluepoint Solutions, says mobile RDC "should be fully integrated with a mobile banking app-period ... from the user experience side of things, you don't want to have multiple applications to manage," he says, adding his firm's only had one client that was interested in mobile RDC only.

Tilbury's not alone. Serge van Dam, a spokesperson for mFoundry competitor M-Com, says consumer research indicates that users of mobile financial services want an integrated experience across their relationship with their bank or credit union. Reetika Grewal, a director at ClairMail, contends that mobile RDC is actually designed to be part of mobile banking. "People want to check balances before and after transactions," Grewal says, adding those who are doing mobile RDC alone are getting "panned."

Drew Sievers, mFoundry's CEO, counters his standalone RDC is a single product that can be configured for mobile banking, mobile with RDC, RDC by itself, or RDC that morphs into mobile banking with the FI is ready. "The other guys say it should be offered simultaneously because that's the only way they can do it," he says, adding his firm has found that some institutions want to go live with RDC only, then evolve it to mobile banking when their systems are ready.

Mark Schwanhausser, an analyst for Javelin Research says that in the best of all worlds "mobile deposit would be integrated into the mobile offering. The more seamless, the better." But Schwanhausser also says "FIs feel a sense of urgency about rolling out mobile deposit-and with good reason ... Mobile deposit is a valuable component because it has a "wow" factor that consumers grasp quickly."

This story originally appeared on Bank Technology News.

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