WEST JORDAN, Utah-Mobile deposits are "cool," but more importantly, they whet member appetite for mobile payments, according to Tony Rasmussen, SVP-eServices at Mountain America Credit Union (MACU) here, which will launch mobile deposit services for Android and iPhone devices early next year.

"Mobile deposit helps society recognize the utility and power of mobile services and paves the way for mobile payments," Rasmussen explained. "I'm as excited about what comes after mobile deposit as I am about mobile deposit."

MACU's mobile deposit is also pretty cool on the back end, noted Rasmussen. Incoming check images from mobile deposit are securely transmitted to the same location as check images from MACU's other capture applications, including teller, home and, eventually, ATM.

The "convergence" of deposit images from mobile, teller, home and ATMs is enabled by the Bluepoint Solutions' ImagePoint Hub, a central repository for check processing, said Rasmussen. MACU uses Bluepoint's mobile and teller remote deposit capture (RDC) software and will soon switch to Bluepoint's home capture product.

"Staff can research real-time deposit items from this central hub so they don't have to go to one server for home deposits to another for mobile and a third for teller," said Rasmussen. "One of the reasons we've held off on mobile deposits as long as we have is because we didn't want to be in a situation where you can research ATM images but not mobile images. Other providers only offer disparate silos of images."

MACU will also use ImageHub to create and submit combined cash letters for presentment from one location, he added.

Relatively few members will take advantage of mobile deposit, Rasmussen said. "This won't become our primary deposit channel. We're expecting conservative adoption." Meanwhile, MACU receives about 600 deposits per month via its home capture service.

Other credit unions have questioned the $2.8-billion CU's commitment to mobile deposit, especially in a time when check usage is declining, suggested Rasmussen. Rasmussen said he tells them "we want to present the member with as many good options as possible and let the member choose how to make deposits.

Besides, mobile deposit is in some ways just a stepping-stone to get people accustomed to using their handheld device for all banking activity, he said. "More people are spending time on a mobile device, some of whom don't even have access to a PC." More than 10% of MACU's members use mobile banking from more than 350 types of mobile devices, he said.

Bluepoint's "QwikDeposit To Go" RDC will allow members to log in to mobile banking, key in a check deposit amount, snap photos of the front and back of the check with their smart-phone camera and submit the image to MACU, said Andrew Tilbury, director of marketing and communications at Bluepoint. QwikDeposit will format the image, automatically correcting any image problems.

CUs can purchase QwikDeposit To Go as a in-house license or on a monthly delivery model. In addition to RDC software, the Vista, Calif.-based Bluepoint offers item processing and electronic document management software.

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