What Is Remote Deposit Capture?

A few years ago, online banking was a revolution in the industry, with everything at a customer’s fingertips, 24/7/365. Today, mobile banking is adding advances that make payments, deposits and withdrawals even more accessible. It’s a development so newsworthy that the Federal Reserve called it “The most important development the (U.S.) banking industry has seen in years.”


More than 50 million Americans are expected to do mobile banking by 2015, according to Forrester Research.


One feature of mobile banking that’s caught the attention of both businesses and consumers is remote deposit capture, or RDC. RDC allows a participating bank’s customers to deposit checks electronically from remote locations (locations that aren’t an ATM or financial institution) and get quicker access to the funds deposited.


How does it work? Paper checks are scanned using a smartphone or scanner (a smartphone for personal banking customers and very small businesses, and a scanner for small to medium-sized businesses); an image-based deposit is prepared and electronically transmitted to the customer’s bank. It’s that simple.


Can anyone use RDC?


Most RDC customers are small and medium-sized businesses that want faster access to their money to improve cash flow – and reduce the time and effort of filling out deposit slips and taking checks to the bank. Plus, images of the checks can be kept on file for future reference. Funds from a paper check are usually available within five business days; with RDC, funds from checks remotely deposited on Monday often are available on Tuesday or Wednesday of the same week.


This primarily benefits businesses whose transactions are typically paid by check, like attorneys, physicians or business-to-business organizations. Businesses like restaurants, which are paid more often with cash or debit/credit, may not see the same level of benefit. Banks, too, benefit from RDC in reduced time to process checks, a savings that helps us control costs.


Like all mobile services these days, RDC when performed on a smartphone requires an app installed on the device; they’re easily accessed from iTunes and other app services. There is security behind launching the app, with a username, password and one security question required.


RDC Limits & Cost


All banks handle their RDC policies differently; some put limits on how many checks can be deposited at one time, and some require a minimum and/or maximum deposit.


The fees associated with taking advantage of RDC vary from bank to bank and are quite different for business customers and consumers. A business may need to purchase or lease a scanner, then pay a monthly fee for the service. Consumer banking customers typically pay a small per-check fee.


Customer & Bank Security


For customer security, it’s recommended that customers hold their scanned checks until the deposit has posted and can be viewed online; at that time, the check should be shredded. Images of the checks scanned are typically available for a time on the mobile phone from which it was sent; after that the images go to the online banking site.


There are, of course, security measures in place to protect banks, too, like duplicate detection. If a customer were to scan and deposit remotely, then keep the check and try to cash it again (either remotely or in person), systems detect the duplicate and will prevent redeposit.


With features like the convenience of anytime/anywhere depositing and quicker fund availability, doesn’t remote deposit capture make sense for you? Talk to one of our personal or business bankers about getting set up with our mobile banking services and you, too, could be putting money in the bank in the time it takes to snap a photo!