Mitek Pops as U.S. Bank Adopts Mobile Photo Billpay

Tickers in this article: MITK USB

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Mobile banking continues to expand, and Mitek(MITK) is in a sweet spot.

Shares of the San Diego mobile imaging company were up 17% in afternoon trading to $4.80, after U.S. Bank (the main subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp (USB) ) rolled out Mobile Photo BillPay, enabling customers to pay bills simply by snapping photos with smartphones or tablets.

Online banking has, of course, made life much easier for consumers, enabling them to avoid writing and mailing checks, writing addresses on envelopes and using postage. But the new service developed by Mitek takes convenience much further, allowing bank depositors to avoid sitting at a PC and use their smartphones or tablets to handle all aspects of paying bills, including setting up a payee, scheduling regular payments, or making one-time payments.

A U.S. Bank spokesperson said that the new Mobile Photo BillPay service is built right into the bank's mobile baking application on Apple's(AAPL) iPhone or on Android devices.

Mitek also developed mobile check deposit technology, which has been adopted by the largest 10 banks in the United States, and 708 banks in total, according to the company.

Mitek CEO Jim Debello says his firm is "the only company offering this type of solution," for mobile deposits and photo bill paying.

"We are turning the camera to a keyboard to reduce consumer friction," DeBello says. "When customers type on small touch screens, mistakes are made. By eliminating the need to key-in data, and replacing it with a photographic imaging, we are helping the banks build better consumer business, allowing them to engage the next generation of consumer."

In addition to making their services much more appealing to customers, DeBello says there is a major benefit for the banks: "Using Mitek's check-deposit product, many banks have claimed savings as high as 95% when compared to depositing a check with a teller."

"We look at this technology as a painkiller for consumers. What we try to do is solve daily problems," he adds.

Mitek's stock has been listed on NASDAQ since 2011. The company posted a net loss of $1.4 million for its fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 31, compared to a break-even quarter a year earlier. The consensus fiscal 2013 earnings estimate among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is a loss of 26 cents a share, with a fiscal 2013 consensus estimate of a loss of 45 cents a share.

William Blair analyst Bhava Suri rates Mitek "outperform." The analyst said in a report on Jan. 31 that "the launch of mobile deposit at several marquee banks as well, as the increased diversification in product revenue, should assist in creating a more consistent and predictable revenue growth rate."

Suri estimates that Mitek's fiscal 2013 revenue will increase to $10.9 million, increasing from $10.3 million in fiscal 2012. Suri estimates Mitek will post a fiscal 2013 net loss of $0.20 a share.