Digital Federal Credit Union acknowledged it didn't know what to expect when it launched DeposZip, a remote-deposit capture service in March 2008, said Denise Gonthier, administrative services manager at the $4 billion cooperative in Marlborough, Mass. That same year, DeposZip was created by Eastern Corporate Federal Credit Union to allow consumer and business members to electronically scan the checks they receive and transmit them for collection.
"It has really exceeded our expectations," Gonthier said. "The biggest success is when people are using the service."
Since rollout at Digital, the CU has signed on 37,000 members to DeposZip, according to Gonthier. About $253 million in deposits have been processed through 269,000 transactions and there is an average of 5,000 active users each month. While consumer members have the highest volume of usage, business members process larger deposits.
This high use helped propel EasCorp's DeposZip to recently surpass $315 million. As of Jan. 7, the total consisted of 291,098 deposits. The RDC program currently has 47 CU participants, with nine signing on in late 2009. After checks are transmitted, EasCorp said it captures the data, performs image tests and securely displays the image to the CU, where it is verified and eventually released for collection. No special software is needed, and members can use almost any desktop scanner or a printer-scanner, the corporate said.
When a group of military CUs approached EasCorp in 2007 about competing with USAA Bank, which was in the process of developing some RDC systems, the corporate took on the challenge of developing its own proprietary version, recalled Alan Bernstein, senior vice president, business development and strategic planning for the $1 billion EasCorp in Burlington, Mass. A group of the corporate's software engineers with extensive experience in Check 21 technology developed DeposZip, which was designed exclusively for CUs.
"By and large, credit unions had a disadvantage of not having a branch system like a Bank of America," Bernstein said. "What DeposZip does is help expand their reach."
Gonthier said members using the RDC service save $3 per deposit versus going to a shared branch. DeposZip is free to members, and while Digital does not collect any fees for usage, the earnings pay off in the long run because users remain with CU, often naming it their primary financial institution.
DeposZip's success is tied in large part to the Digital's employee referrals. Twenty-five percent of the recommendations have resulted in members actually signing on to the service, Gonthier said. The CU has also used branch demo days and member testimonials as marketing tools. Members have access to an impact calculator to receive a breakdown of how much it would cost to drive to a branch versus using DeposZip at home or a business.
"We're all about increasing deposit channels for members and making something easy and simple to use and connect to from their very own home," Gonthier said.
For Digital's tech-savvy membership, DeposZip has been seamless and easy to adopt, Gonthier pointed out. They have also provided feedback that has helped with enhancements such as having Macintosh compatibility and additional browser options like Firefox and Safari. Coming soon is the launch of an iPhone application.
Bernstein said DeposZip was designed for a household utility already in place or if not, paying no more than $50 to get one. Business owners use a multifeed scanner. The average DeposZip deposit is $1,100 with many of them being payroll checks.
"We wanted to be certain this would be easy for credit unions to give this away to members or charge a very modest price relative to their bank counterparts," Bernstein said.