Is Mobile Photo Banking the Future?

Photo banking may become more widely accepted by consumers, as U.S. Bank rolls out its latest photo banking product. Starting in November, U.S. Bank (NYSE: USB) will offer Mitek’s (NASDAQ: MITEK) Mobile Photo Balance Transfer™ to its mobile banking customers. Here’s how it works: customers snap a photo of a credit card payment coupon using their mobile device and send it to U.S. Bank to apply for a balance transfer to a U.S. Bank credit card. The financial giant launched mobile-enabled credit card balance transfers this week, as it continues to ramp up its photo banking strategy. U.S. Bank already offers remote check deposit via mobile phone users’ cameras along with Mobile Photo Bill Pay. “The photo balance transfer product is the next step in what we are starting to refer to as ‘photo banking,’ that has become an overall imaging strategy for the bank,” Chris Peper, vice president of mobile channel management at U.S. Bank, told Mobile Commerce Daily. “We have been very intentional about making investments in imaging to carve out and maintain that leadership position.” After launching its DepositPoint™ mobile deposit transfer system earlier this year, U.S. Bank worked to “make some of these transactions a little bit more engaging and fun for customers, by trying to take things away from data entry and replace the keyboard with the camera,” Peper said. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) also offers its customers a mobile photo deposit service. As more consumers catch on to mobile banking, other banks will need to offer a wide variety of mobile photo banking services. 35 percent of Americans already bank on their mobile phones, according to a Pew Internet & American Life Project, and the numbers will undoubtedly grow quickly in the near future.