Positioning Business Mobile Deposit to Win with SMBs: The Devil’s in the Details

by Bob Meara, September 13, 2016
Industry Trends
North America


Celent conservatively estimates 4 million US SMBs could adopt business mobile deposit if banks position and price the product effectively. This report shows banks how.

In the report Positioning Business Mobile Deposit to Win with SMBs: The Devil’s in the Details, Celent offers an analysis of a June 2016 survey of US small businesses designed to help banks maximize their return on investment in RDC.

The small and medium size business (SMB) market is of increasing interest among US financial institutions as an important and profitable customer segment. So is the idea of migrating expensive branch transactions to self-service channels. The advent of business mobile deposit, which became generally available in 2015, offers banks a unique opportunity to “kill two birds with one stone.” But doing so is tricky, because:

  • The SMB market is diverse, with widely varying affinity for business mobile deposit. Product and positioning will need to uniquely fit for the value proposition to resonate.
  • Banks have taught SMBs to expect free stuff. Thus, most SMBs expect business mobile deposit to be free, or at least have a very low price point.
  • Many SMBs already use desktop deposit (also known as commercial RDC). Unless they’re careful, banks risk cannibalizing existing fee revenue with business mobile deposit.

The survey showed that check acceptance remains widespread among US SMBs, but most SMBs don’t receive all that many checks. Historic RDC adoption followed the checks: higher check volume meant a business was more likely to adopt desktop RDC. But, more SMBs today utilize mRDC (launched in the past few years) than desktop RDC, which has been broadly available for a decade. This suggests both risk and opportunity for US financial institutions.

“Small business remains fertile ground for RDC,” says Bob Meara, a senior analyst with Celent’s Banking practice and author of the report. “There’s opportunity for fee-based revenue growth as well as massive transaction migration out of the branch. This is low-hanging fruit banks have been slow to pick.”

After a definition of business mobile deposit, the report takes a snapshot of the US small business market, with a focus on check acceptance, deposit behavior, and product usage. An analysis of surveyed SMB reactions to business mobile deposit concepts follows, along with a market opportunity assessment and recommendations for financial institutions offering or intending to offer business mobile deposit to SMB clients.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

Executive Summary



Key Research Questions


Defining Business Mobile Deposit


A Snapshot of US Small Business



Check Acceptance among SMBs


Banking Relationships and Deposit Behavior



Product Usage



Branch and ATM Deposit Behavior



Bank Engagement


SMB Reactions to Business Mobile Deposit



Attribute Importance



Business Expectations


Market Opportunity




Appendix I: Research Methodology


Appendix II: Survey Instrument


Leveraging Celent’s Expertise



Support for Financial Institutions



Support for Vendors


Related Celent Research


Sign in to download reports and access personalized information