Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mobile Devices: New Payments Tool

By Mark Brousseau

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the number of users of mobile banking services in the United States could reach 21.27 million in 2010.

“Mobile devices are becoming important tools in the payments and banking space and can definitely be expected to play an important role in the U.S.,” said Frost & Sullivan Strategic Industry Analyst Vikrant Gandhi. “There is a flurry of recent activity around both payments and banking, with investments, operator adoption and development of innovative solutions driving these markets.”

Various mobile payment solutions allow peer-to-peer (P2P) money transfer between individuals through the mobile phone, while increasing penetration of mobile data services such as messaging, mobile Internet and others offer multiple avenues for providing mobile banking services.

However, gaining subscribers’ confidence and educating them about the capabilities of mobile financial services offerings poses a major challenge, Gandhi said. There are bound to be concerns about storing subscriber information on the handset or losing connectivity in the middle of an important financial transaction.

“A strong push by FIs and mobile operators is required to help in the adoption of mobile financial services,” said Gandhi. “Specialized industry participants from the mobile payments and mobile banking segments need to work closely to offer solutions capable of satisfying a wide range of financial needs of mobile subscribers.”

The key success factor will lie in giving customers the option of performing various financial transactions on the move, Gandhi predicted. While mobile payments and banking may never fully replace online interactions, they could prove to be an ideal fit for particular types of transactions such as micro-transactions. These services can also be tailored to the needs of a particular niche or category of customers by adjusting various parameters.

Integrated mobile banking and payments services are likely to be a key future trend, according to Frost & Sullivan's research. Where is your financial institution in the rollout of its mobile payments and banking offerings? E-mail me at

Structured Docs Going Image

By Mark Brousseau

Despite all the industry talk about automating unstructured document processing – and it’s sure to be a hot topic at TAWPI’s Capture Conference in December – to date, most organizations have focused their imaging efforts on structured documents. According to a recent Question of the Week on the TAWPI Web site, 80 percent of respondents said they imaged “mostly structured documents,” while 11 percent of respondents said they imaged “mostly unstructured docs.” Nine percent of the 87 respondents to the question said their organizations imaged “mostly semi-structured documents.” Where is your organization putting its efforts? E-mail me at

Friday, September 28, 2007

Remote Deposit Capture Delivers

By Mark Brousseau

A whopping 78 percent of respondents to a recent TAWPI Question of the Week say that their organization is receiving payback on its remote deposit capture deployment. Only 6 percent of the 86 respondents said they weren't receiving payback, while 16 percent said they didn't know. How is your organization faring with remote deposit capture? E-mail me at

Could BOC Outpace ARC?

By Mark Brousseau

Back Office Conversion (BOC) has gotten off to a surprisingly slow start since becoming effective earlier this year. Yet respondents to a recent TAWPI Question of the Week were split nearly down the middle on the issue of whether BOC’s growth rate could eclipse that of Accounts Receivable Check (ARC) Conversion. Forty-five percent of the 232 respondents said BOC will outpace ARC, while 44 percent disagreed. Eleven percent of respondents to the question said they didn’t know. Has your organization changed its thinking on BOC? E-mail me at

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Outsourcing Looms Large

By Mark Brousseau

The push towards remittance outsourcing may get a second wind, according to the results of a recent Question of the Week on the TAWPI Web site. A whopping 58 percent of the 264 respondents to the question are planning to outsource their remittance operations, and another 13 percent of respondents are unsure of their plans – meaning, up to 71 percent of remittance operations could be outsourced. Only 29 percent of respondents said they were committed to their in-house operations.

The growing interest among corporate billers in outsourcing their remittance operations doesn’t surprise Steve McNair, president of FTP Consulting Services, Inc., in Southlake, TX (, but he admits that the survey’s findings are “extremely significant.”

“The problem is that remittance solutions vendors have stuck with an outdated financial model, and there simply aren’t enough productivity gains and cost savings in the technology to pay for the systems,” McNair said. “It’s been seven years since most remittance processors last implemented new systems. But when processors look at the cost new technology, three things give them pause: concern that they won’t get enough bang for their technology buck, declining check volumes, and long payback times. Vendors need to find an alternative way for corporate billers to implement new technology that doesn’t require a significant upfront capital investment.”

McNair noted that two prominent companies engaged him in the past year to help evaluate the feasibility of implementing new technology platforms. Both companies ultimately determined that better technology platforms were available, but neither one could cost-justify the move. For the time being, they are sticking with the status quo. Has your organization had a similar experience? E-mail me at

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

SLAs Hardly MIA

By Mark Brousseau

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) have become the norm, according to the results of a recent Question of the Week on the TAWPI Web site. A whopping 97 percent of respondents have SLAs in place with their providers or their customers (depending on which side of the processing equation they are on), while just three percent of respondents still do business without SLAs. Any tips for effective SLAs? E-mail me at

Can Your Data-Entry Operators Keep Up?

By Mark Brousseau

Ever wondered how your data entry operators stack up against those at other operations? The results of a recent Question of the Week on the TAWPI Web site might give you some insight. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said their data-entry operators average between 5,000 and 10,000 keystrokes per hour, while 25 percent of respondents said their operators average between 10,000 and 15,000 keystrokes per hour. Five percent of respondents have super-fast operators who average more than 15,000 keystrokes per hour, while just 2 percent of respondents said their operators average fewer than 5,000 keystrokes per hour. So, what does your organization expect of its data-entry operators? E-mail me at

Want to be Remembered?

By Mark Brousseau

Attention vendors: If you want to make your exhibit booth more memorable, focus on the steak, not the sizzle. According to Exhibit Surveys Inc.’s annual Most-Remembered Exhibits study, 68.1 percent of respondents attributed their memories of the top 22 exhibits of 2006 to “product interest” followed by “company name” (54.8 percent) and “product demo” (51.2 percent). Promotional giveaways – which swayed only 13.9 percent of respondents – was the least important factor to which respondents attributed their memories of top exhibit booths.

So before you buy those cases of light-up bouncing balls, remember that recognizable company names, buzz-worthy new products and engaging presentations are traits that put exhibits permanently on attendees' minds. What exhibit booths did you think were most memorable at this year's TAWPI Forums & Expo in Boston? E-mail me at