Banks opt for speed over simplicity to roll out mobile deposit applications.

Should they wait to do it right?

Issue of Discussion: Smaller banks are seeking to capitalize on the attention bigger ones like JPMorgan Chase & Co. and USAA Federal Savings Bank have generated for mobile deposit, but to get the function out in a timely way, they are finding an integrated experience which may not be possible.

By whom and where: Sonja Campbell, Marketing Manager at SourceMedia [In CGAP's Mobile Banking and Microfinance Group]

Respondent 1


Ayesha Ali- Sonja, mobile banking is not a very easy concept, however, the separate applications can help capture the market for now. These applications then can be plugged into banking system later.

My opinion on the matter is that banking services such as savings should be available to poor, even sooner than micro-loans. This provides a good basis for future micro loans. When a client develop a history with the bank, by depositing with the bank, hence their habits of savings can be established and timely repayments as well. This will ensure sustainability of the bank.

There is no way of doing it right or wrong, unless you actually do it. On the field, practices are different and you learn from them. Smaller, easier methods sometimes are more agreeable to people than normal big bank procedures. The people fear big banks and see them as mercenary. So where outreach is concerned, smaller banking applications, simpler methods can reduce fears in the people who are poor.

Hope this answers some part of your question

Respondent 2


Yash Parekh- Hi Sonja, can you further elaborate on "integrated experience". If it is the user experience you are referring to.....yes, Mobile/PDA based banking would have its limitations. Bust also note that the target users in case of the above form, mostly a unique segment and therefore the need to maintain the user experience may not be there...this is especially true of microfinance segment. You are right when you say that some FIs have started off with deposits since this allows quick roll out.


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