Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), today announced the launch of its Merchant Acceleration Program (MAP), an initiative to increase the awareness and adoption of merchant capture by businesses.
Merchant capture is a remote deposit capture solution that banks may provide to their business customers to provide them the convenience and cost savings of making check deposits from their office or store locations. An example of the Fiserv core competency in payments and market leadership in remote deposit capture, the merchant capture solution from Fiserv enables businesses to scan and deposit checks from their offices electronically - saving them money and time, and giving them faster access to cash. The technology has great benefits for business customers, which banks can offer and promote as a partner who is vested in helping them grow their businesses as they participate in the movement from paper to electronic processes.
In its report entitled "Branch and Teller Capture: A Vendor Overview" (December, 2008), Aite Group, a leading independent research and advisory firm based in Boston, Mass., ranked Fiserv number one for its Branch and Teller Source Capture Solutions.
Using the Merchant Acceleration Program, Fiserv will help financial institution clients target industries that are typical users of merchant capture - medical offices, building trades, property managers law offices and many others - to help them better serve these clients. Among the marketing tools in the campaign are a return-on-investment calculator, marketing materials that can be branded by the bank or credit union, videos and other efforts aimed at educating businesses about the benefits of merchant capture. In addition, Fiserv will offer sales incentives to financial institution employees who identify potential merchant capture users and will host Remote Deposit Days at financial institution branches to demonstrate the businesses advantages of merchant capture.
The move by Fiserv comes on the heels of an Aite Group research report titled "Increasing Bank Success with Small Business Remote Deposit", by Christine Barry and Judy Fishman. Aite Group found that 47 percent of the small businesses it surveyed during the summer of 2009 knew nothing about merchant capture. Another 43 percent of small businesses - estimated by the Small Business Administration to total more than 29 million nationwide - had heard about the technology but didn't know any details about it. According to Aite Group, the technology has grown substantially since its inception in 2004 with about 5,000 U.S. banks and credit unions today offering merchant capture to their business customers. However, only about 1 percent of the businesses it surveyed used the technology. U.S. financial institutions could gain an estimated $700 million in new annual revenue by increasing the small-business merchant capture adoption rate from the current 1 percent to just 10 percent.
Research done by Fiserv indicates a typical small business can gain several thousand dollars a year by eliminating trips to the bank, reducing time to prepare deposits and increasing the availability of funds.
"By adopting a more strategic remote deposit marketing strategy that consists of a greater focus on education, more targeted marketing messages and greater accountability and use of relationship managers, financial institutions will begin to enjoy these revenues in addition to the efficiencies that result from customer adoption of remote deposit," said Christine Barry, managing research director, Wholesale Banking, Aite Group. "Offering remote deposit to small-business customers is an opportunity worth pursuing."
"Fiserv believes we have a responsibility to lead in helping our clients educate their small business customers about a technology that could increase profits and make their operations more efficient," said Teri Carstensen, president, Item Processing and Payment Solutions, Fiserv. "Especially in these difficult economic times, when businesses are looking everywhere for ways to cut costs, it makes sense to consider a technology like merchant capture. And with new lower cost scanners and easy to use web-based software, offering RDC to smaller businesses is very cost effective for the financial institution. It helps both groups by saving the small business time and money, and generating revenue for the financial institution."
Initial results of the MAP are encouraging. One Midwestern bank signed up 40 percent of the business customers who came to its Remote Deposit Days promotional event. "We know our efforts can make a big difference toward helping our partner financial institutions better serve their business customers," said Carstensen.
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