It looks like technology innovation isn't just for the biggest members of the banking industry anymore.
While financial giants such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America and Wells Fargo promote their mobile checking deposit services, these big banks will be getting some competition from the nation's not-for-profit institutions.
Mitek Systems, a mobile imaging software company, says it's partnering with more than 150 credit unions to deliver checking convenience technology to their members. Many consumers may consider credit unions to be fee-friendly institutions without the capital to invest in emerging technologies. However, this acceleration in mobile deposit debunks this myth for a segment of the nation's credit unions.
Now, I know that many account holders are concerned over mobile security features. However, I think the ability to deposit checks via smartphone or tablet is just the type of functionality that will encourage consumers to forget those worries as they see how mobile technology can simplify their traditional banking activities.
Regardless of security, it's clear that many of today's tech-savvy customers do want the added convenience of snapping a photo of their check, hitting send and confirming their deposit. For example, consider Utah-based Mountain America Credit Union. After releasing a mobile deposit feature in June 2011, its usage has grown by a whopping 1,800 percent since it first debuted.
Credit unions have already been enjoying a recent surge in their membership numbers. If they can continue to stay on the cusp of technological innovation, I think we'll see even more banking customers consider making the switch to become members. With tools like mobile banking, a shared branch network and the ATM Co-Op, credit unions are making big strides in their ability to give their members all the tools they would find at the big banks.
What do you think? Can tools like mobile deposit help credit unions reach the same competitive level as the biggest banks?