Mobile RDC and the Quest for Retail Banking Revenue

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12 December 2011


  • At 25¢ per check, how much revenue are we talking about? How many check deposits does the average account holder make each month? Around our house, it's maybe one a month, or $3 per year.

  • Great question! Most FIs deploying mobile and consumer desktop RDC are seeing a mix of regular users (several deposits per month) intermixed with a larger number of occasional users. Additionally, a growing number of small businesses are keen to use RDC, and deposit activity among that segment can be significantly higher. Net revenue won't be extraordinary in most cases, but that's not my main point. Banks need to dig themselves out of the "everything is free" hole, and must learn how to successfully position financial services in a manner that invites monetization. Mobile RDC ought not be neglected in so doing.

  • If Banks are going to dig themselves out of that hole, why not choose products that actually produce substantial revenue? If we charge for every product we offer then the whole process is cyclical and we will go down the path of one bank that sees a competitive advantage to offer everything for free, and the whole industry is forced to follow suit to be competitive. We must pick and choose our battles carefully, especially in this time of high price sensitivity.

    Online and mobile users are some of the most profitable customers a bank can have. We want to do anything we can do to get all customers in these "sticky products." Charging for a checking account is one thing, because there are high operational costs associated. But charging for a mobile solution that takes transactions away from a cost center (branch) and into a solution that costs pennies on the dollar (mobile RDC)? I see mobile RDC as a way to drive operational efficiency, not as a way to squeeze a few hundred revenue dollars from my best customers.