Vantiv launches mobile check deposit after successful pilot with Town & Country Bank
Cincinnati — Payment processing service-provider Vantiv said Wednesday that it has launched its Mobile Check Deposit product that enables consumers and small business owners to use their smartphone to take a picture of a check and deposit into their account.
The service, which had been in pilot with Town & Country Bank in Salem, Mo., is now available in the United States and already more than 40 financial institutions have signed up for the service.
The product is offered to financial institutions using a pay-as-you-go model and has been designed with flexible controls for safe and secure transactions.
In anticipation of the coming wave of consumer interest, Vantiv reached out to Town & Country Bank in early 2011 to offer the service as a trial. “A year ago when Vantiv invited Town & Country Bank to join them in this innovative pilot project, we knew it was a great opportunity,” said Carl Eichenberger, COO with Town & Country Bank. “Mobile Check Deposit was offered to a preselected customer base and they have overwhelmingly embraced the technology. We are excited to make it available to all of our customers.”
Vantiv’s Mobile Check Deposit leverages the Jeanie network, which requires no core integration.
Online audience picked up in March
With 24 million unique visitors during March, Target.com was ranked 47th on the comScore Media Metrix listing of the top 50 U.S. Web properties for March. That’s an improvement from March 2011 when Target didn’t crack the top 50. The only other conventional retailer in the top 50 was 25th ranked Walmart.com with 39 million unique visitors. It was ranked 33rd last year with 31.7 million unique visitors in March.
Online disadvantage is $23 billion and expanding
Following up on last week’s commentary (A dot com disconnect and Canadian e-commerce opportunity revealed), the legislative loophole that has U.S. retailers at a disadvantage to their Canadian counterparts was on display again this week during congressional testimony in Washington, D.C. Offering testimony was Katherine Lugar, EVP public affairs for the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), a trade organization where Target chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel serves as chairman of the board of directors.
RILA supports passage of legislation called the Main Street Fairness Act that was introduced last year and could help states collect an estimated $23 billion in sales taxes that go unpaid on purchase made at online only retailers.
“A sale is a sale is a sale. Whether it takes place online or at a local business, the same rules should apply online that apply on Main Street,” according to Lugar’s prepared testimony.
The trade group contends the current $23 billion in sales that that goes uncollected will only grow larger in the years ahead as e-commerce continues to grow.
According to RILA, a pre-Internet loophole prevents states from enforcing their sales tax collection laws when purchases are made online. Consequently, while local retailers collect and remit sales taxes on purchases made in their stores, their out-of-state online competitors do not. The result is what RILA charitably referred to as a “perceived price advantage of between 6% and 10%.”
For background on the issue and to read Lugar’s full testimony, click here.