Remote Capture: The New Frontier in Cash Management

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11 May 2005

Abstract

San Francisco, CA, USA May 11, 2005

Remote Capture: The Next Frontier in Cash Management

In the deposit services game, new commercial customers have been hard to court, price has often become the primary decision factor, and branch presence a limiting factor. No longer. Remote capture is breaking geographic and price barriers. Celent estimates that US$150 million to US$200 million in commercial deposits are going to switch hands in the next twelve months to banks offering remote capture.

Bankers rarely find themselves facing a new frontier with as vast opportunity as remote capture (the capture of check images at commercial sites). The frontier is wild. Few banks have launched a product while over five hundred companies are showing interest. Banks are still experimenting with how to package and price the service. The frontier is near. Unlike other forms of distributed capture with demanding implementation requirements, remote capture is relatively straightforward to implement. Moreover, it provides banks with another means to commercialize and thereby monetize their investment in check imaging. The frontier is green. The first wave of demand will be from companies which highly value the convenience of not having to deliver check deposits to a branch.

According to

Alenka Grealish, author of the report and manager of the banking group at Celent, "It is unlikely that remote capture will increase the yield of deposit services significantly in the long-run. Rather it will reallocate the yield across different banks with early movers gaining balances and price premiums in the short-run and latecomers losing. While early movers clearly have a competitive advantage, after the first wave of demand is satisfied, a new land grab will ensue. Banks will face a critical juncture: how to avoid their usual fate in payment services which has been product commoditization and price-driven competition. Those banks that redefine their value proposition around working capital improvements and price accordingly will excel. Those that stick with per item fees will lose ground and find themselves struggling against price pressures."

The report profiles the initiatives of five leading players: First Horizon, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Creative Payment Solutions (CPS, a subsidiary of BB&T Bank), and Sterling Savings Bank.

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