Mobile RDC for the Vegas Late Shift
By Shane Kite
Published on American Banker on January 1, 2013
Servicing the "what happens here, stays here" tourism bacchanal that is Las Vegas requires late hours. That's something One Nevada Credit Union, a $684 million-in-assets institution based in Sin City, also known as the "Entertainment Capital of the World," knows well.
A good portion of One Nevada's 76,000 members work in the hospitality industry, and the credit union has worked hard to resolve issues endemic to a demographic steeped in the late-shift work cycle of an all-hours city. What do you do, for instance, when you receive your weekly paycheck at 3 a.m.? It might be nice if you could deposit that check by taking a picture of it with your smartphone, instead of making a trip to the bank at such an ungodly hour.
That's why One Nevada in May deployed Bluepoint Solution's QwikDeposit ToGo, a mobile remote deposit capture application that the credit union integrated into its existing mobile banking platform from Connect Financial Software Solutions, which allows check deposit for members with iPhones, iPads and Android-based devices. (One Nevada originally set up Connect FSS as a credit union service organization to sell its homegrown banking solution and sold it in early 2010; it's now a standalone company.) Integrating the QwikDeposit ToGo functionality was "a collaborative effort" between the credit union, Bluepoint and Connect FSS that began in February 2012.
This is another step in the credit union's push to make banking more convenient for its all-hours members who live, work or worship in Nevada's Nye, Clark and Washoe counties, or at Nellis or Creech Air Force bases. The credit union also has branches in Reno, and one in Pahrump.
"Las Vegas is a 24-hours, seven-days-a-week city," explains Kristen Williams, assistant vice president of administrative services at One Nevada. "So we've got several different shifts of workers, and most of our transactions are happening at ATMs."
Ten years ago, the bank got rid of most of its tellers. "Only four of our 20 branches maintain a traditional teller line where people can go in and cash checks," Williams says. "So everything has been through the ATM: deposits, withdrawals, loan payments, transfers - whatever the member needed, they did it at our ATM machines." The credit union finished deploying 60 image-enabled ATMS in 2011.
"While the majority of our branches have a vestibule where they can gain access to go inside, they're drive-through situations," Williams says. "But if you need those funds to be in your account the next morning, you don't necessarily feel safe going to an ATM at 3 a.m. So you want to have that flexibility to be able to make that deposit. Likewise, we have a significant number of military members that find themselves in different countries and states from time to time. So we just wanted to make it more convenient for our members to do their business with the credit union regardless of what their hours were, or whether they were here in the city or not."
Member adoption of the smartphone-enabled check deposit feature has been significant enough - about 2,000 members use the application on a monthly basis; about 150 checks are processed through the mobile channel per day - that it's led One Nevada to mull a time when it might consider replacing its full-service ATMs with simple cash dispensers.
"We do think that'll be a serious conversation probably within the next five years," Williams says. "It's certainly reduced costs associated with conducting those deposits to our ATMs. We're seeing immediate savings in that area.
"The remote deposits that we're seeing on a monthly basis are starting to grow to a level that's matching that of some of our machines," Williams adds. "And we expect that eventually remote deposit will exceed some of our busier deposit-taking machines, which then causes us to think about the ATM deployments. Will we continue to make those types of machines available? Or will we reduce costs and perhaps move some of the those machines to a different area or take out the deposit function altogether, since the mobile deposit seems to be the direction that our membership is really moving?"
One Nevada chose Bluepoint because the vendor allowed it control over the deposit process, which several other vendors the credit union researched over about a two-year period did not. "The other vendors were taking in images of the items and then processing a direct deposit file into our organization. That caused us some concern, because there's risk involved with allowing someone use their mobile phone to make a deposit to their account."