Mitek Siezes an App Opportunity: Enabling Your iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android Phone to Scan and Deposit Your Checks

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mobile remote deposit capture of checks.” He also notes the company has signed five new distribution agreements for its mobile deposit technology with Wausau Financial, FIS, Skyline’s DirectFed, Secure Payment Systems, and Bluepoint Solutions.

So mobile check scanning could add a new dimension to Mitek’s business, but how much? DeBello told me it represents a bigger business opportunity than Mitek’s existing check processing business. Still, in our conversation earlier this year, he acknowledged that while some 30 million checks are processed each year in the United States (more than anywhere else), it is not a growing market, especially with the availability of other payment types (such as debit and credit cards). Rival technologies for mobile retail transactions also are emerging from companies like San Diego’s Transaction Wireless and Qualcomm’s Firethorn subsidiary.

Mitek has been operating mostly under the radar in San Diego for 20 years or more. The company initially was founded to develop Tempest, a Cold War security software technology designed to prevent Soviet electronic surveillance units from eavesdropping on sensitive U.S. computer communications. As the need for such technology waned in the 1990s, Mitek acquired its optical character recognition and related technologies from HNC Software, a San Diego pioneer in software analytics.

DeBello calls it a “tenacious company,” and he sees a less-frequent, but broader use of mobile check scanning in both consumer and business markets as part of a huge emerging opportunity in mobile banking. It’s an initiative we’ll continue to monitor.

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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