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U.S. Bank targets small businesses via mobile check deposit app

U.S. Bank is making a play for additional small business clients by introducing an application that lets owners and employees snap a photo of a check to have it automatically processed and deposited into a business account.

Although mobile check capture features have been prevalent in financial institutions’ mobile offerings for the past year, U.S. Bank’s new app is specifically targeted toward employees of small businesses. The bank recognized smaller companies’ demand for easier check deposit options, prompting it to roll out Deposit Express as it ramps up to gain more new customers and provide additional convenience to time-strapped individuals.

“U.S. Bank sees mobile check deposit and mobile banking a significant driver of new client acquisition and retention in the small business segment,” said Sam Robb, senior vice president of collections and receivables group manager at U.S. Bank. “The extension of mobile deposit capabilities to the small business segment reinforces U.S. Bank’s commitment to mobile technology.

“Many small business owners have adopted mobile banking in their personal life to manage their finances and expect their bank to delivery those same benefits to the professional life. U.S. Bank has experienced strong interest to date as a result of offering a feature-rich solution at an affordable price point.”

Streamlining business-oriented tasks
The new app was designed for small business employees who find themselves depositing up to 200 checks each month, or those who are regularly out in the field collecting checks from customers. Small business owners or associates are now able to download U.S. Bank’s Deposit Express mobile app, pull out their smartphones and take a picture of a check.

U.S. Bank will electronically process the transaction and deposit the appropriate amount into the business’s account. Having this functionality available at all times will help reduce stress and save time for employees, since they will not need to venture to their nearest U.S. Bank branch or ATM to deposit a check.

The Minneapolis-based financial institution is also specifically gearing Deposit Express’s other features toward small business employees. Users will be able to take advantage of various reporting and research tools within the app.

Customers with larger volumes of checks and more sophisticated remittance are encouraged to visit their nearest bank branch and use U.S. Bank’s On-Site Electronic Deposit, which provides mobile devices or check scanners to expedite the deposit-making process.

Building on previous incarnations
U.S. Bank introduced the first version of Deposit Express back in 2010, enabling small businesses to use a PC and desktop scanner to take a photo of, balance and submit their checks without having to travel to a branch in-person. Small business clients may still request desktop scanners from U.S. Bank for a two-year loan period.

However, the financial brand sought to roll out a more ubiquitous service that would leverage consumers’ omnipresent smartphones. The Deposit Express app integrates directly with Web apps for reporting and duplicate check detection, allowing customers to supplement their Web app with mobile’s capabilities.

This lets them make deposits while they are away from the office.

“For small business clients with field agents taking payments in the field for services rendered, mobile deposit will also drive additional benefit for small businesses such as service repair and delivery,” Mr. Robb said. “Check deposits are often delayed until the agent returns to the office.

“By enabling mobile deposits, these agents can now submit their check deposits from the field and can eliminate unnecessary trips to the office just to drop off checks.”

U.S. Bank has been heavily relying on mobile to gain new customers and offer time-saving tools to existing clients.

Several weeks ago, the company opened its mobile vault to a slew of app updates, including expanded money delivery options and an enhanced check-deposit process, paving the way for the imminent implementation of Touch ID functionality (see story).

Other financial institutions would be well-advised to roll out digital offerings geared toward small business owners and employees, with mobile check deposit options at the top of the list.

“A mobile check deposit offering is a must-have for all financial intuitions irrespective of size,” Mr. Robb said. “U.S. Bank offers three unique solutions which are specially designed to meet the distinct needs of specific segments; corporate, small business and consumer.

“According to Celent, financial institutions see mobile as the primary driver of remote deposit capture growth,” he said. “Banks see mobile deposit as a vehicle for client acquisition and as a means to drive efficiency as clients shift their banking practices away from the branch.

“U.S. Bank sees mobile devices as a key delivery mechanism for banking services and will allow clients to solve their financial services needs through this evolving medium.”