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Mitek Systems (NASDAQ:MITK)
Q1 2021 Earnings Call
Jan 28, 2021, 4:30 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good day, everyone, and welcome to today’s Mitek Systems first quarter fiscal 2021 financial results conference call. Today’s call is being recorded. At this time, I’d like to turn things over to Mr. Todd Kehrli, MKR.

Please go ahead, sir.

Todd KehrliInvestor Relations

Thank you, operator. Good afternoon, and welcome to Mitek’s first quarter fiscal 2021 earnings conference call. With me on today’s call are Mitek’s CEO, Max Carnecchia; and CFO, Jeff Davison. Before I turn the call over to Max and Jeff, I’d like to cover a few quick items.

This afternoon, Mitek issued a press release announcing its first quarter fiscal 2021 financial results. That release is available on the company’s website at miteksystems.com. This call is being broadcast live over the Internet for all interested parties, and a webcast replay will be archived on the Investor Relations page of the company’s website. I want to remind everyone that on today’s call, management will discuss certain factors that are likely to influence the business going forward.

Any factors discussed today that are not historical facts, particularly comments regarding our long-term prospects and market opportunities, should be considered forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements may include comments about the company’s plans and expectations of future performance. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially. We encourage all of our listeners to review our SEC filings, including our most recent 10-K, for a complete description of these risks.

Our statements on this call are made as of today, January 28, 2021, and the company undertakes no obligation to revise or update publicly any of the forward-looking statements contained herein, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in expectations or otherwise. Additionally, throughout this call, we’ll be discussing certain non-GAAP financial measures. Today’s earnings release and the related current report on Form 8-K describe the differences between our non-GAAP and GAAP reporting and present the reconciliation between the two for the periods reported in the release. With that said, I’ll now turn the call over to Mitek’s CEO, Max.

Max CarnecchiaChief Executive Officer

Thanks, Todd. Good afternoon, everyone. Thanks for joining us today. I hope all of you and your families are staying healthy and safe.

Jumping right into it. The first quarter was a solid one all around for Mitek, with both lines of business in each geography performing well. We delivered significant new account wins and impressive existing customer expansion, all of which resulted in another record quarter. First-quarter revenue was a record $26 million, representing growth of 18% year over year.

We also generated record non-GAAP net income of $6.2 million or $0.14 per diluted share, up 23% year over year. And cash flow from operations was $8.7 million. We are energized by the ongoing momentum in the identity verification market, and the strength of our financial results demonstrates the expanding opportunity. We added significant new customers during the quarter, particularly in our target segments of financial services, gig economy and marketplaces, and we continue to broaden our coverage with existing customers as they deploy our technology into new use cases and increased transactional volumes for traditional use cases.

Almost all aspects of modern life now use digital channels. So the need to establish trust in the digital identities of customers, citizens, partners and employees is rising rapidly. Identity verification has never been more relevant. Rapid advances in artificial intelligence are enabling novel forms of fraud such as synthetic media like bots and deepfakes.

And increased scale and frequency of data breaches are all adding heightened pressure on organizations to protect their customers’ data and access. Perpetrators and their methods of crime continued to evolve and accelerated during 2020. So even the best anti-fraud programs need to be continually assessed and refined. Organizations no longer have the luxury to simply verify access at the point of onboarding.

Instead, they need to continuously authenticate and know exactly who their customers are across all channels and throughout the customer life cycle. Consumer demand for outstanding digital experiences is also increasing pressure on organizations. Capgemini reports in its Top Trends in Retail Banking that superior customer experience is now a must for banks as design-centric technological innovations gain widespread industry acceptance and adoption. Customers expect the same experiences from their banking platforms that they get from their digital lifestyle applications offered by big tech players.

Well-executed identity verification is primed to be the bridge between these two urgent requirements. Identity verification has moved beyond just being an enabler, it now serves as an integral element of most organizations’ technology stack. And we believe the next decade of fraud prevention will be defined by an organization’s approach to the life cycle of continuous identity and access management capabilities. Our customers globally represent hundreds of the world’s best known brands and banks.

As we sharpen our identity capabilities and refine our relevance within these markets, our customers are discovering new essential use cases for identity verification and its vital role in enabling digital commerce. ABN AMRO Bank, one of the largest banks in the Netherlands, implemented Mobile Verify into two new workflows for their banking members this quarter. In both areas traditionally reserved for in-person identity checks, Mobile Verify enables digital commerce and eases consumers through digital transformation. This progressive approach ensures they are meeting their customers’ rising expectations for an easy-to-use digital interaction.

Growth in transaction volumes on traditional use cases was also up in the first quarter as customers like Airbnb expanded the use of Mitek into new geographies and also experienced greater usage of their digital services. Additionally, in Q1, we continued to add new identity customers and grow our global pipeline of potential new identity customers and partners. This momentum is evident in both North America and Europe. Mitek’s ambition is to be an indispensable partner in fighting identity fraud for the markets and geographies we target.

Our approach is to provide advanced linked and layered identity signals from initial user onboarding with documents, devices and biometrics, to authentication, reverification and continuous identity fraud detection. Available today, Mobile Verify includes the new standard in ID verification, face comparison, with advanced liveness detection as well as achieve the highest levels of assurance in fraud protection, data confidentiality and security through our patented NFC solution. This solution uses a 3-way face comparison to validate the document image against the one contained on the NFC chip and a high-resolution selfie. Our biometrics also use passive liveness detection to provide customers with additional security against all aspects of identity fraud and can be used across any of the preferred channels.

Our advanced technology determines whether it is a genuine selfie and detects synthetic media and spoof attacks such as video reproductions, face masks or photos of photos. Mitek is the only enterprise-class provider in the identity category, and our standards of service remain unchallenged. Mobile Verify delivers against all measurements of performance: acceptance, availability, speed and our professional services are the best-in-class. As such, our proven track record of success continues to grow as we expand our reach in this fast-growing market.

Our relentless quest for customer success is delivered through a high-touch customer engagement and continuous product innovation. As we continue to innovate, we remain committed to exploring all avenues to achieve product superiority and expansion, whether through partnership, increased R&D innovation or acquisition. Turning to our deposits business for banks. COVID-19 has been a catalyst for digitization as widespread lockdowns meant in-person branches are no longer the preferred option for consumers.

As a result, we continue to experience growth this quarter from our highly profitable deposits product line. Its adoption continues to increase with the rising usage of digital banking apps, and with it, mobile check deposits. Cornerstone Advisors just concluded its most recent Mobile Deposit benchmark report, which surveyed close to 2,000 American consumers. Among consumers who use their bank’s mobile deposit capabilities this year, 42% did so for the first time in 2020.

85% intend to continue depositing checks using their mobile devices in 2021. To this point, 70% of respondents claim that depositing a check was one of the most important mobile banking features in 2020. As more and more customers demand the ability to use remote check deposit, we saw several large banks significantly increase the dollar value limits on checks deposited through the mobile channel as well as reduce the number of days required to clear that check. Both are hugely important to consumers, and we believe will drive the continued adoption of mobile deposits.

During the first quarter, we successfully released Mobile Deposit 4.8 and Global Deposit 2.2. Both of which are mature, stable releases that will act as safe harbors for our customers and partners as they see rising demand for our solutions. Also, our deposits team is again working directly with the U.S. Treasury Department to ensure the smooth processing of physical checks issued by the IRS and subsequent rounds of Economic Impact Payments approved by Congress.

We are proud of our Mobile Deposit offering and its ability to assist people in this time of need. Now let me provide a brief update on the USAA litigation situation. As most of you know, the two USAA verdicts against Wells Fargo for patent infringement related to remote deposit systems are subject to post-trial motions that could overturn the rulings or result in new trials. These post-trial motions are still pending.

Either way, the two cases will be the subject of appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the federal circuit. Additionally, Mitek continues to prosecute its case for declaratory relief that our products do not infringe the patents that issue in the Wells Fargo lawsuit, and there are no updates in that matter. Separately, the U.S.

Patent Office has exercised their discretion and declined our request for additional review of the validity of four USAA patents. Also, the patent office has concluded its review of certain challenges filed by Wells Fargo and did not invalidate any USAA patents based on that review. All of these decisions are subject to rehearing before the Patent Office and appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and we intend to continue to vigorously prosecute our case as Mitek invented all of its core technology, and we believe our products do not infringe on any USAA patents.

Before I conclude, I want to thank Jeff for his many contributions to Mitek over the past three and a half years. As you are probably aware, in December, Jeff announced that he is planning to retire in 2021. Jeff has been a strong business partner for me since I joined Mitek, and he is definitely going to be missed. The good news is he’s agreed to remain our CFO until we find the right person for the job.

A search is under way, and Mitek has retained a top national recruiting firm to help us with this process. In closing, we are pleased with our strong results as we continue to strengthen our market position for 2021 and beyond. The acceleration in demand of our identity verification solutions is laying the foundation for future expansion, and our record results demonstrate how we have strengthened our market position. The Mitek workforce should take pride in delivering the technology, products and services that our customers need and value in these unusual times.

Their demonstrated resiliency and adaptability give me great optimism that we have the right team and culture to realize Mitek’s full potential. Now I’ll turn the call over to Jeff to discuss the financial results in more detail. Following Jeff’s remarks, we’ll open up the call for questions. Jeff, please go ahead.

Jeff DavisonChief Financial Officer

Thanks, Max, and thank you, everyone, for joining us this afternoon. Let’s start with the Q1 revenue and operating results. For the first quarter of fiscal 2021, Mitek generated record Q1 revenue of $26 million, an 18% increase year over year. Software and hardware revenue was $12.3 million, an increase of 7% year over year.

Services and other revenue, which includes transactional SaaS revenue, maintenance and consulting services, was $13.7 million for the quarter, an increase of 30% over Q1 last year. This increase is due to the growth in transactional SaaS revenue, which increased 45% year over year to $8.9 million. For Q1 2021, deposits revenue increased 7% year over year to $15.6 million. Identity verification revenue increased 40% year over year to $10.4 million.

We delivered strong software and hardware gross margins of 90% for the quarter. Gross margin on services and other revenue was 79% for the quarter. Total gross margin for the quarter was 84% compared to 87% in Q1 last year. Total GAAP operating expenses, including cost of revenue, were $24.4 million compared to $21.8 million in Q1 last year.

This increase is due to increased cost of revenue and increased expenses due to investments to grow our business. Sales and marketing expenses for the quarter were $7.4 million compared to $6.6 million a year ago. R&D expenses were $6.2 million compared to $5.3 million last year. And our G&A expenses were $5.1 million compared to $5.3 million a year ago.

GAAP net income for the quarter was $2.2 million or $0.05 per diluted share. Our diluted share count was 43.9 million shares compared to 41.8 million shares a year ago. As a reminder, our earnings release includes a reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP net income. We believe non-GAAP net income provides a useful measure of the company’s operating results by excluding acquisition-related costs and expenses, stock comp expense, litigation expenses and the related tax impacts of these items.

Non-GAAP net income for Q1 increased to $6.2 million or $0.14 per diluted share compared to $5 million or $0.12 per diluted share a year ago. Our non-GAAP adjustments include $2.7 million of stock comp expense, $1.7 million of acquisition-related costs and expenses, $385,000 in cash tax difference and $241,000 of litigation expenses for the quarter. This was all offset by the income tax effect of pre-tax adjustments of $1.1 million. Turning to the balance sheet.

We generated $8.7 million in cash flow from operations during the quarter, bringing our total cash and investments to $72.6 million at December 31. Our accounts receivable balance of $12.7 million represents a DSO of 50 days. In closing, we’re pleased with our results for the first quarter, which included record revenue and significantly improved profitability. And we look forward to continuing to deliver the valued services that Mitek provides.

Operator, that concludes our prepared remarks. Please open the line for questions.

Questions & Answers:

Operator

[Operator instructions] We’ll hear first today from Bhavan Suri with William Blair.

Bhavan SuriWilliam Blair & Company– Analyst

Guys, can you hear me OK?

Max CarnecchiaChief Executive Officer

We can. Hey, Bhavan.

Bhavan SuriWilliam Blair & Company– Analyst

Great. Congrats, Jeff. Jeff, we’re going to miss you, but we all understand how it works. But congratulations on the numbers.

Great set of numbers. I would love to just touch on the ID verification side. As you think about demand and the pipeline, I’d love to get a little color around how that’s playing out, especially around, as you think about the gig environment, the Airbnb customers, how do you think that plays out? Maybe not even over the next 12 months, but maybe over the next 36 to 60 months, three to five years? Let’s think about how you guys see that business playing out?

Max CarnecchiaChief Executive Officer

Yes. That’s a big question, Bhavan. Just meaning it’s far reaching. Certainly, the idea of being able to not just validate identities digitally is a big deal.

It’s still — we’ve talked about this being early stage market that’s growing rapidly that is a big category. Where the problem hasn’t fully been solved, I think what we’ve seen in the course of the last couple of quarters is new use cases and what we’re referring to is the life cycle of an end user where they’re being onboarded, which has been historically the use case we’ve been used the most in determining somebody when they’re first kind of coming to your bank to — digitally, to apply for a loan or a credit card or something. But what we’ve seen in the course of the last couple of quarters is additional use cases around reverifying that same individual after they’ve established a relationship with you could be because they’ve changed phones or changed address or changed name — got married, changed their name and need to be reauthenticated, basically reverified or rebinding to that device. And so we’re seeing those use cases within both our existing customers as well as new customers.

I think back to your question, for the markets we serve, the best estimates we can come up with is identity verification is growing someplace between 20% and 40% a year. And Gartner, the experts, are telling us that the penetration rates at this point are 20%, 30%, and they’ll be at 75%, 80% over the course of the next three years. So I just think we’re going to have a lot of action in what we do today, and you’re going to see us continue to complement the current signals and capabilities we have through ongoing innovation, as we’ve demonstrated in the last 12 months, and then bringing on additional signals through partnership and, ultimately, perhaps even through acquisitions.

Bhavan SuriWilliam Blair & Company– Analyst

Yes, yes. No, Max. That’s a great answer. I guess — and great color.

I guess if we think about it, right, there’s lots of ways to approach this concept, right? You’ve seen Equifax’ recent acquisition of Kount. You’ve seen LexisNexis talk about like, “Oh, we can identify a device and give you a score on the risk of a device.” I guess the biggest question is, and obviously, you’re the partner with DocuSign, there’s this concept of like actual, not just ID verification, but ID management. I would love to get a little bit of color strategically about how you guys think about ID management. So not just, “Hey, yes, it’s a passport.

It’s a driver’s license. It’s valid. They’re valid, etc.” But the concept of actually understanding that Bhavan, who is in Chicago, did not buy a place in Mexico because he never has with his account. Like how do you think about that longer-term strategy?

Max CarnecchiaChief Executive Officer

Yes. So what you just outlined there is there’s a lot of different approaches, a lot of different — not just providers, but concepts and how to attack this problem. You mentioned a number of folks that are either complementary or channel partners to Mitek. And ultimately, what you’re trying to put your finger on is where does this go and how do we ultimately end up with a really definitive digital identity that is highly private, super secure but can be used throughout our daily existence, whether it is in the…

Bhavan SuriWilliam Blair & Company– Analyst

As long as it’s like just small amounts or Visa have the rails of credit, like the rails of ID. Exactly. You’re absolutely right. In fact, you could ask any question as far as …

Max CarnecchiaChief Executive Officer

Yes. And until — yes. So I think the question becomes — and the way we’re trying to position ourselves is who’s going to own that identity? Who’s going to be the source of — put the technology aside, you’d say blockchain and all that, but is it going to be the banks? Is it going to be big technology? Could it conceivably be the government? And you have to think about this through multiple dimensions where we’re serving our customers in dozens and dozens of countries. So the idea that the government of the United States is going to figure out digital identity, and that’s going to work for the folks in Germany, U.K., around the world, that’s just not the case.

So back to your question. We have strong feelings as to what direction this is going to go, but we’ve positioned ourselves so that we can participate regardless of who emerges as that kind of controlling stake or consortium of digital identity. Personally, my own personal view to make a prediction is, the holy grail here is self-sovereign identity. And that is going to take a massive change in behavior and adoption of technology that — it’s not going to happen on the time line that you just — you referred to three to five years.

I think it’s a much longer time line than that. But again, our jobs here and the strategy that we’re taking is to position ourselves so that we can participate and be a meaningful value-add to the segments and the geographies that we’re focused on almost regardless of what direction it goes.

Bhavan SuriWilliam Blair & Company– Analyst

No. And I appreciate the color and I appreciate the candor and the neutrality. One last one for me, and I’ll turn it over to queue. Competition, you’ve seen a number of folks come out and say, OK, so we can do ID verification, like, matching the ID to a passports or driver’s license or everything else.

And the approach, the business has risen to more than ID matching, but like ID verification, but ID management. And I’d love to have your color as to how you think the competitive environment is evolving given guys like Jumio, guys like Authentix, guys like on Onfido, like how do you think about the competitive environment? Who do you see? And how do you win?

Max CarnecchiaChief Executive Officer

Sure, sure. Again, another really big question. So I think what you touched on is this idea of identity access management, which is a much larger category that IDV, identity verification, is adjunct to. And Gartner is making these predictions that those two categories are starting to couple and intersect where you’ve got to have really accurate customer onboarding, or else, you’re never going to be able to authenticate and reverify.

And so partnering with organizations that are expert in the IAM space, particularly beyond just their employee — for employees, but also for consumers and customers, that’s part of our strategy. And we don’t view those folks as competitors today. We view them as partners and complements to what we’re doing. The names that you used are kind of the direct heads-up competitors that we see day-to-day within prospective customers fighting for business.

And the COVID, the last 10 months has really, I think, changed the competitive landscape where like what we’re seeing is folks like ourselves and a couple of others that have been able to go fully remote and do it successfully without any business interruption and really rising to this circumstance. And then we’ve seen some kind of historical competitors that are maybe a little longer in the tooth, using some more antiquated technology that’s not as scalable or as not as effective, and they’re struggling through this. So I think you’re starting to see a separation in this — what has been a relatively crowded field. So we’re starting to separate the — maybe the winners from the losers or the wheat from the chaff, whatever the right metaphor there is.

I hope that helps.

Bhavan SuriWilliam Blair & Company– Analyst

No, no. That’s very helpful. I appreciate it, and congrats. The growth number in ID Verification was great.

Appreciate it. Thank you all.

Max CarnecchiaChief Executive Officer

Thanks, Bhavan.

Operator

We’ll hear next from Mark Schappel with Benchmark.

Mark SchappelThe Benchmark Company — Analyst

Hi. Good afternoon. Thank you for taking my question. Nice job on the quarter.

Max, starting with you, the company’s performance has been, let’s just say, quite good since the financial guidance was withdrawn early last year. I was wondering if you could just give us a little color on what it may take for the firm to reinstate financial guidance going forward?

Max CarnecchiaChief Executive Officer

Sure, Mark. Well, thanks for the kind words. We withdrew the guidance along with, I think, the overwhelming majority of Russell 2000 companies back in the March-April time frame. And the reason we did that is because there was just so much uncertainty, not just around COVID, but then the knock-on consequences around the uncertainty of what that was going to mean in the economy.

We’re now 10 months a little bit longer into it, and I appreciate your kind words about our performance, I’m really proud of the team here. At the same time, you can’t have missed a new cycle in the last 30 days and think that the uncertainty is anything less than it was back in April. So I think once we get comfort with the externalities, the things that we’re out of — that we’re not in control of, like the spread — and not just in the United States, the spread of coronavirus, the new mutation to coronavirus and what that’s going to mean, knock-on consequence to economies, we’re happy to — used to being a public company, and we’ve always had guidance out there. You just got to have confidence that the guidance we give you guys, we can stand behind and deliver on.

Mark SchappelThe Benchmark Company — Analyst

Great. Thanks. And then switching gears a little bit here to your channel network because building up your partner network has been a big initiative at the company over the last, I don’t know, year or two. I was wondering if you had any progress to report on that front this quarter.

Max CarnecchiaChief Executive Officer

Yes. I’ve become really cautious in these calls of using customer names or channel partner names only because it is a competitive environment, and we’ve got a lot of competitors. Since we’re the only public company, we’ve got a lot of competitors who get the benefit of listening in on these calls. We have invested in the channel over the course of the last year, year and a half, and we’ve had big impact from that.

The best is still to come. And those channel partners are both helping us co-sell into the segments that we have our direct relationships and our own direct activities around financial services, fintech and the marketplace gig economies. We’ve also — you mentioned — or others have mentioned Adobe and DocuSign, the relationships we have there, which are more horizontal in nature and cut across different industries, different geographies and really take us into places that, on our own, we probably wouldn’t be ready for today just from an investment in direct resources or getting us to use cases that we’re just an element of a larger workflow. So yes, we’ve had quite good progress there.

But as I said, I think the best is still to come.

Mark SchappelThe Benchmark Company — Analyst

Great. Thank you. That’s helpful. And then, Jeff, bringing you into the equation here.

I was wondering if you could just provide an update of where the company is with respect to sunsetting the legacy on-premise platforms.

Jeff DavisonChief Financial Officer

Sure. So we — I think we started that initiative two to three years ago and said it was going to take us a while to get through it. We’ve done a great job getting — sunsetting the on-premise identity platforms. They were all domestic and primarily in Europe.

The only thing that’s left that’s on-premise is some of the products sold in the Spanish and Latin America territories. And that’s probably two years out before those are completely gone. So we’ll still see revenue in that hardware and software line for the next four to six quarters, probably.

Mark SchappelThe Benchmark Company — Analyst

So it’s just the one that’s left for the most part.

Jeff DavisonChief Financial Officer

Yes.

Mark SchappelThe Benchmark Company — Analyst

Great. Thank you. That’s all from me. Thanks again.

Operator

We’ll move on to Mike Grondahl with Northland Capital Markets.

Mike PochuchaNorthland Capital Markets — Analyst

Hi. It’s Michael on for Mike. Congrats on the quarter. Maybe just first off, was there anything specific to call out in the new deposit releases in the quarter? Or is that just more general updates there?

Max CarnecchiaChief Executive Officer

Mike, thanks for calling in. Can you just repeat the question? You broke up there just as you were asking.

Mike PochuchaNorthland Capital Markets — Analyst

Sorry. I think you just mentioned there was a couple of new releases, remote deposit updates in the quarter. Is there anything specific there or are these just general updates for the software?

Max CarnecchiaChief Executive Officer

Yes. So there were some pretty — we get down into the details, some pretty important additions and capability improvements for our existing customers in both those releases. So it was the Mobile Deposit 4.8 and the Global Deposit 2.2. There were some things under the hood that I think the layman wouldn’t necessarily find all that interesting.

But if you were a big core service provider like a Fiserv or an FIS or Jack Henry or one of the larger banks that host us directly, you’ll find some big improvements there, whether things just go faster or run more smoothly. I think the important message we wanted to get across is these are mature releases. These are very stable releases. These are very scalable releases, secure releases that as these volumes — at some point in the next 12 months, we’re going to process our five billionth check, right? So there’s a lot of checks going through these systems in the 7,500 financial institutions that are taking advantage of these solutions.

And both for our partners and our customers directly, the ability to rely on these things and not have to babysit them, I think that’s a really meaningful thing, and that’s what we wanted to get across in the prepared remarks.

Mike PochuchaNorthland Capital Markets — Analyst

Got it. That’s helpful. And then just on the legacy systems. I mean it’s pretty safe to assume that most of that, from the previous question, is cleaned up.

So from a kind of cost perspective, operating perspective, that’s a large area. Are you seeing the benefit of that?

Max CarnecchiaChief Executive Officer

Yes. I don’t know that it’s all behind us for sure. I think Jeff did a good job of outlining where we are in that process. Every quarter, we have less of those legacy systems out there.

Obviously, we’re not continuing to provide or sell new ones. And that — so that’s in decline, as Jeff said, over the course of the next two years, the go-forward platform of Mobile Verify continues to grow. It continues to grow because we’ve got more new customers coming on to it. We’ve got existing customers finding new use cases, and we’ve got customers that just have expanding volumes.

So I think it’s — this divergence of watching the legacy kind of bleed off over the course of the next two years and watching the go-forward platform really ramp up. So it feels good.

Thanks. That’s helpful.

Operator

[Operator instructions] We’ll move on to Allen Klee with Maxim Group.

Allen KleeMaxim Group — Analyst

Good afternoon. I’d like to hear your thoughts on mobile deposits and how do you think this might react as we get to the end of the lockdown and people start going back out again. It strikes me that this is a behavior that would tend to remain sticky, but I’d like to hear what’s your best guess about that.

Max CarnecchiaChief Executive Officer

Yes. Sure thing, Allen. So first, congratulations on your new gig, and great to have you on the call today.

Allen KleeMaxim Group — Analyst

Thank you.

Max CarnecchiaChief Executive Officer

We referenced in the prepared remarks a report that was just released by an organization called Cornerstone that did a couple of thousand consumer surveys regarding digital banking and specifically the use of remote check deposit from a mobile device. And that — I believe you can get that, a link to it through our website. If not, we can get you a copy. But it’s really interesting, not only to see — as consumers kind of got forced to adopt digital banking, their feelings about, gosh, how easy this is and how convenient this is and how sticky it’s going to be, that report, which again is not our report, but we certainly — we love the information that’s in there, supports the hypothesis that you just outlined.

Consumers are saying, yes, I did this mobile deposit thing. I did this digital banking thing, and I’m going to keep doing it.

Allen KleeMaxim Group — Analyst

Yes. That seems to make sense. And then the numbers on identity are very good. The outlook is very good.

How do you feel about as — and this business has good gross margins, but it’s kind of an emerging business, but can you remind us of how you think about what this can look like when it’s more at scale?

Max CarnecchiaChief Executive Officer

Yes. For sure. And just to remind everybody, the emerging businesses have strong business [Technical difficulty] we’re investing heavily in you could say striking is being disciplined and thoughtful about those investments so that as it does scale, as all these cloud mobile businesses do, it turns to breakeven and then very highly profitable. I’ll let Jeff make some comments as to where that can go, but we’re still in that investment state today.

But every quarter and every year, we’re thinking about what the right discipline and what the right balance is. This is absolutely the kind of business that as it scales, there’s a lot of leverage in it. And so I don’t know, Jeff, if you want to bracket that with anything more specific.

Jeff DavisonChief Financial Officer

I think the only thing I would add is on the gross margin line, that will improve over time. And the reason that improves is we’re delivering this in the cloud. And as cloud businesses go, the more and more volume you put in, you get more efficiency, and you can leverage the cloud, so it will be a more profitable model with gross margin level. Also, if you recall, we provide agent assist services when our automated systems don’t actually — aren’t unable to read the documents.

And as our systems get better and better and improve, less and less agent assist resources will be required, and that’ll help improve gross margin as well.

Allen KleeMaxim Group — Analyst

Thank you so much. And then just — I apologize, but when you were going over the patent litigation — or the litigation stuff, when you talked about the efforts that you were making where you went to the patent office, could you just repeat kind of what the actions were and what your next steps are with that?

Max CarnecchiaChief Executive Officer

Yes. So specifically on the PTO, we had asked the PTO to crack those USAA patents open and take another look at them. And they refused to do that on a procedural matter. It had nothing to do with necessarily the validity of the patents and the challenge there.

And that’s really the sum of that part of the prepared remarks. Other than that, there’s really not a lot of change since the last update.

Allen KleeMaxim Group — Analyst

And so what is — what are you planning to do as a result of that?

Max CarnecchiaChief Executive Officer

Right now, there’s not a lot for us to do. Both the courts and the patent office, while they’re still open, due to COVID, things are just — what is normally a glacial kind of time line and very, very slow progress has managed to downshift into something that’s even slower.

Allen KleeMaxim Group — Analyst

Got it. Okay. Thank you so much.

Operator

[Operator instructions] And with that, I would like to turn things back to Mr. Kehrli for any closing remarks.

Todd KehrliInvestor Relations

Thank you, operator, and thank you, everyone, for joining us today. We look forward to updating you again next quarter. Our call has concluded. Have a wonderful day.

Operator

[Operator signoff]

Duration: 40 minutes

Call participants:

Todd KehrliInvestor Relations

Max CarnecchiaChief Executive Officer

Jeff DavisonChief Financial Officer

Bhavan SuriWilliam Blair & Company– Analyst

Mark SchappelThe Benchmark Company — Analyst

Mike PochuchaNorthland Capital Markets — Analyst

Allen KleeMaxim Group — Analyst

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