The Transformative Impact of Mobile Image Capture on Financial Services


In 2012, Facebook paid $1 billion for Instagram – a hip photo-sharing app with no revenue. Why? Facebook recognized Instagram had capitalized on a fundamental shift in consumer behavior. While most users were updating their Facebook status from a laptop, millennials were staying connected with their phones and had grown tired of typing copious amounts of text on a tiny mobile screen. These influencers were abandoning mobile text entry in favor of mobile image capture.

Instagram's meteoric rise reminds us that as more of our daily interactions move to mobile devices, the hassle of mobile data entry is amplified – even for power users like millennials. Consumers increasingly expect the unique capabilities of mobile devices, including the ability to quickly and easily capture images with the camera, to make their mobile interactions easier – and this includes how they manage their financial lives.

Capturing detailed information from a check, bill or receipt is an effective and engaging strategy to address the hassle and reduce the points of friction within mobile banking interactions. Take mobile check deposit, for example. The service has been a hit with consumers, who love that they can take a picture of a check to deposit it without having to type in every detail from the check. Check deposit is undoubtedly the first of many financial services that will be transformed by mobile image capture.

"Using one powerful platform, the possibilities for universal mobile capture to streamline how people manage their financial lives are exponential," according to Isaac Rome, vice president, Mobile Solutions, Top Image Systems (TIS). "From extracting bill details for facilitating payments to snapping receipt images for completing records, incredibly easy-to-use, convenient self-service apps are coming to life to solve everyday issues for consumers and their financial institutions. The key to these apps is their unmatched ability to capture and process important information on the mobile device quickly and accurately, delivering a superior mobile user experience."

By taking a picture of a bill within a financial institution’s app, all relevant information is populated into a consumer's mobile banking app, which is nearly five times faster than inputting it manually online. To pay the bill, the consumer simply clicks to pay. Fiserv and TIS worked closely together to successfully pilot this capability and bring it to market.

Fiserv is demonstrating receipt capture functionality at the FinovateEurope2015 conference this week and BAI Payments Connect in March. This patented mobile capture functionality, Snap-to-Tag, not only captures information from an image such as a bill or a receipt, but adds an additional layer of intelligence to help consumers manage their finances. After a consumer takes a picture of their receipt, it can be tagged to a specific category, such as "Dining," grouping it with similar transactions. The receipt is automatically attached to the corresponding transaction within the consumer’s mobile banking app.

Depositing a check, paying a bill or managing receipts are only the first of many services that will be transformed by mobile image capture. Together with TIS, Fiserv is pursuing many other mobile imaging applications, including debit and credit card capture for mobile payments, check capture for mobile deposits and account opening, driver's license capture for mobile enrollments, among other innovative uses of mobile capture capabilities. What financial services activity could mobile image capture transform next? Share your thoughts with us at FinovateEurope2015, BAI Payments Connect or Fiserv Forum 2015.

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