Ensenta Corporation identifies “8 habits” that promote highly effective mobile remote deposit capture and reduce fraud

REDWOOD SHORES, CA (November 27, 2013) — Ensenta Corporation has identified “8 Habits of Highly Effective mRDC” (Mobile Remote Deposit Capture), powerful tools that reduce the potential for mobile check fraud while improving image quality and user experience.

Ensenta is an award-winning, Silicon Valley software developer that is creating innovative Cloud-based imaging and self-service technologies for the financial services industry. Ensenta’s products and services are distributed by leading mobile banking providers, core-banking processors, and ATM networks and manufacturers.

Ensenta’s experienced technology team, with the support of a Cloud-based, pre-configured, tightly integrated value-chain has successfully implemented mobile, desktop, merchant, branch and ATM deposit capture at hundreds of banks and credit unions.


The mobile check deposit user experience is best measured by the check’s image usability, that is, can the mobile app acquire a readable image consistent with Federal Reserve standards, explains Jim Ballagh,  Ensenta Vice President of Business Development. “Once acquired, check images need rigorous real-time risk review,’ he says. “A high percentage of usable images translates to superior customer satisfaction and adoption.”

Most mobile deposit providers, including Ensenta, utilize Mitek’s patented technology to convert the color check photo to its scanner equivalent. If Mitek can read the image, it’s captured and forwarded for deposit. If not, the user is notified of the problem and the failed transaction is typically discarded.

Ensenta’s technologies are additive to Mitek and result in among the highest image usability rates in the industry. For example, Ensenta employs a secondary optical character recognition read.  And it provides a unique method for logging all session data including failed deposits, which enables the receiving entity to understand why images fail and to auto-correct accordingly. “As a result, Ensenta has doubled magnetic ink character recognition read success rates by identifying certain MICR line oddities and employing custom voting algorithms,” says Ballagh. “Our focus on improving image quality has reduced unusable check images by more than 20%”


Once acquired, check images need rigorous, real-time risk review.  Ballagh points out that many financial institutions have been slow to implement mobile deposits, fearing fraudulent or duplicate checks. “There are numerous ways to mitigate risk,” he states.  “Many banks and credit unions limit eligibility, establish daily deposit limits, and place holds on checks. Duplicate detection may offer additional protection against fraud, but does not help if the check is re-deposited to an account at a different institution, or it’s counterfeit or drawn on a closed account.”

Ensenta’s patented Agile Risk Management platform sets new industry standards for Cloud-based deposit risk mitigation. The firm’s robust algorithm evaluates each mobile deposit in real-time on more than 100 risk criteria including duplicate detection across its entire network. And the company’s best practices library helps banks and credit unions create personalized risk factor and deposit limit policies.

Ensenta’s risk management and Mitek’s image acquisition platforms together provide a patented, end-to-end mobile deposit process.  Plus, Ensenta recently announced a partnership with Early Warning to further combat deposit fraud.

“As a result, we’ve observed minimal dollar fraud losses, less than 0.025% in some large samples, leading many of our financial institutions to offer daily deposit limits of $10,000 and more,” says Ballagh.  “This is a marketable consumer advantage which drives deposit transaction and dollar volume.”


Ensenta’s real-time deposit analytics enable immediate decisioning and posting. “When the account holders see their account balances updated on their mobile device in real-time, they embrace and trust the process,” Ballagh explains. “Real-time posting is prevalent among credit unions because their architecture and core processors are less legacy bound.”

Most credit unions post real-time through Ensenta’s shared branching links. By contrast, many banks post mobile deposits to their cores via a batch file at the end of the day. With a batch process, the mobile user receives a message notifying them of a deposit pending approval. Once approved, a follow-up message is sent.

“Of course, we provide posting files for many banks, in some cases sending multiple files per day to speed up the approval process,” Ballagh notes. “Real-time posting coupled with our real-time risk mitigation tools deftly balances competing consumer experience and risk management objectives.”  He points out that some larger financial institutions leverage Ensenta’s Web Services API  (Application Programming Interface) to post real-time to their cores while others utilize the company’s mobile partner’s existing direct-to-host connections.


Another feature that helps to improve customer service is a clearly worded error or warning message that allows users to self-correct and accelerate the banking transition.

“This creates a confident, satisfied user, and reduces support burden,” Ballagh explains. “Error or warning messages are generated as a result of readability issues, such as bad lighting, or negotiability issues, such as invalid MICR.”  As a solution, Ballagh says that custom messaging beats generic messaging.

Consequently, Ensenta enables financial institutions to create custom messaging matrices, using its library of more than 100 risk criteria, combined with transaction knowledge from millions of mobile user sessions. For instance, instead of “Front or back image cannot be processed,” Ensenta can create a more user friendly message such as “Flatten the check and place on a dark surface in a well-lit area.”

Ensenta further increases successful outcomes by engaging the user as a “proofer.” “Our ‘IS confirmable’ error messages ask the user to confirm a risk factor such as a missing signature endorsement,” says Ballagh. “Our ‘IS Fixable’ error messages let the user correct wrong deposit amounts. We believe our custom messaging has decreased unusable images by 3% to 5%.”


Along with a clearer image, real-time data, and clearer messages, a financial institution’s support staff needs a clear, real-time view of a customer’s entire session to help the customer if necessary, Ballagh states.

Most mobile deposit providers automatically discard failed images. When the user calls for assistance, the call center representative has no visible session data for immediate reference and no insight into what caused the problem. Was it a thumbprint blocking the check image? Poor lighting conditions?

Ensenta’s technology focuses on the entire user session, not just successful deposits, according to Ballagh. “Our patent pending Instant Support captures the originally uploaded color check image and information at every step,” he says. Instant Support may also identify the type of mobile device being used, such as iOS, Android, etc.

“All images and events are available immediately and display on the Instant Support screen,” Ballagh adds. “The support representative can then research the session history, access related images, and confidently walk the user through the error recovery process, all in real time.”


Once a mobile deposit has been accepted, the key to efficient image review and settlement – especially in high volume environments – is Ensenta’s “Straight-Through Processing” with an emphasis on real-time remote deposit analytics.

Many image review platforms are relics of batch-oriented branch or merchant capture platforms, Ballagh explains. Automated risk review and scoring are very cursory and each item is physically reviewed, often at the end of day.  As a result, workflows are unorganized and problem items are passed over because of limited online repair capabilities, if any, and adjustments are posted manually.

To address this problem, Ensenta’s Straight-Through Processing minimizes physical review, repairs items immediately, and automates adjustments – one process for multiple deposit channels from mobile to ATMs.

“Items are available for immediate review through our online EZAdmin console,” says Ballagh. “Review policies can be created utilizing our patented, Cloud-based risk mitigation tools.”  Flagged items go into a review queue, and remaining items go to a “one-click approval” queue (typically 25% to 50% of total items) and are processed without further human intervention. Review items can be assigned to individual reviewers so they are not “stepping on each other,” Ballagh notes.

Ensenta’s patent-pending Express Edit lets reviewers adjust certain image quality issues so the items can be forwarded for processing, as opposed to a late reject notice back to the mobile user. EZAdmin allows for online MICR repair and adjustments and hold annotations can be exported to the core. At the end of the day, balanced image cash letters can be sent to more than 40 end points, including the most popular image processing systems.


Providing the highest level of customer service requires consistency across remote deposit capture (RDC) channels, Ballagh states. He points out that consistency has two facets: user interface (UI), and policy administration.

“A UI with a common look and feel across channels maximizes ease of use and instills trust,” he says. “We call this careful balance of multi-channel user experience, analytics, and policy configuration Convergence,” he explains. “To be effective, Convergence requires a single RDC platform.”

Ensenta has embraced Convergence as represented in its advanced products. Common administrative policies such as integrated deposit limits also mitigate risk. The company’s user interface for desktop and merchant deposit incorporate the best practices from mobile, such as auto-cropping, and a graphical, icon-driven experience.

“Moreover, Ensenta lets users see deposits on their mobile device from any RDC channel,” Ballagh says. “We can also enable a single deposit limit across remote deposit capture channels. Compare this capability to a fractured, multi-provider RDC approach, and the benefit is obvious.”


Time to market is critical. The early mobile deposit adopters have successfully launched their products and services, Ballagh notes. Now, the “fast followers” are seeking to gain market-share with new, high return on investment “sticky” products.

Ensenta’s straight forward application programming interface offers a hosted compliant offering with no upfront capital expenditures and is a quick, safe option for financial institutions.  With Ensenta’s large library of file formats, check images can be transported to almost any endpoint without a costly professional services engagement. Once integrated, Ensenta’s typical mobile deposit deployment takes 5 to 6 weeks.

For more information on Ensenta, visit

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