Home remote deposit capture is the latest tool in the chest for Summit Credit Union as it competes for members, SEG by SEG.
The $125 million Greensboro, N.C.-based organization operates seven branches in four cities across the Piedmont, and being able to tell prospective members they can deposit their checks with a simple scanner at home is definitely a good thing, said Glenn Kirk, Summit's executive vice president of marketing.
"My job is to try to get new companies to join with us and one of the first things the CEO or HR people ask me is, 'Where is the closest branch?'" Kirk said. "When I tell them all they need is a scanner and a high-speed Internet connection, I often hear, 'holy cow.' There's a real wow factor."
With ATMs and shared branching, there are plenty of places to make withdrawals, but making deposits can often be another story. "This just closes the loop," Kirk said.
Summit has about 22,000 members, three branches in Greensboro, two in Winston-Salem and one each in Hickory and Raleigh. The 75-year-old institution used to primarily serve Southern Bell and the tobacco companies but now has a long, diverse list of SEGs including Proctor & Gamble and Wake Forest University.
The RDC service is from Bluepoint Solutions, which has been providing teller capture, receipt and other document management and item processing services to Summit since 2005. It's been available since April to members who meet relationship requirements based on savings and loan balances, Kirk said.
"We're limiting the scope of it as we get things going, including the amount that can come in, usually to about $500 to $4,000 a day, depending on their relationship with us," Kirk said. "Members love the convenience of it,"
There has been a bit of a learning curve for some, he added. "Like anything else, you kind of wade through it for the first time you use it, but after that it's very simple."
CEO Sam Whitehurst said he finds the system so user friendly that he uses it to make personal deposits from his office in the credit union. He added that one member who lives in a city with no branch has decided not to move his banking relationship because he can now make deposits from his home.
Kirk said that in addition to retaining members without a nearby branch, Summit hopes its RDC will help capture Gen Y. "We want to attract younger people and we think this is something that can help. They're not like our generation. They don't want to go to a branch. They want to do everything electronically, and this is a part of that."
A mobile capture solution also will be available soon, Bluepoint said. Kirk said Summit will likely adopt mobile as it continues to compete for members across channels and across the state.
"Because we have members all over North Carolina, this is an important new part of our portfolio of remote services," he said. "We can't be like State Employees' Credit Union and have branches everywhere, but we can provide remote deposit."
Summit currently has about 220 people signed up to use the service and gets maybe four or five checks a day, Kirk said. Often, they're checks people have written themselves to deposit in accounts at other financial institutions, although Summit already offers that ability at its home banking site, he said.
That's OK, according to Andrew Tilbury, marketing director at Bluepoint Solutions, a Vista, Calif.-based provider of document management and imaging solutions to more than 1,000 credit unions.
"We think of home capture as part of an overall strategy," Tilbury said. "The earlier you can capture a check and start the item processing, the better, and we think credit unions should have a comprehensive strategy that uses different points of capture. That benefits members as much as possible."
To help push the service, Bluepoint has created an online marketing center where credit unions can download flyers, statement stuffers, Web banners and other tools to create a professional, low-cost marketing campaign, the company said.
Fraud protections also are included in the service. For instance, if a check is deposited from home and then brought to a teller station the next day, it'll be detected and the credit union and member will be protected. Other fraud protections are built in as well, but member service can only go so far.
"Believe it or not, we still get these lottery checks from Canada about every week," Kirk said. "We put a hold on them, of course, but we've lost accounts because people want to believe they've won the Canadian lottery."