Mobile Banking – Depositing Checks using a Smartphone

| December 18, 2014 | 2 Comments

Mobile-DepositSave gas and save time by using your smartphone or mobile device to make bank deposits. Why drive to the bank when you can deposit your checks right where you stand (or sit). If this old dinosaur can handle the task, so can you.

Most, if not all financial institutions have their own banking app to make it easier for you do to simple things such as check your account balances, make a deposit, pay a bill, transfer money and more.

Honestly speaking, I haven’t ventured too far into anything beyond checking balances and depositing checks. There’s something about navigating around on such a small screen that makes it less than desirable for me to do more complicated transactions.

Depositing Checks via Mobile Device

Once you download your bank’s app, it’s as easy as signing on to your account using your smartphone and taking a photo of the front and back of the check. Wait; let me rephrase that last sentence. It should be as easy as signing on and taking a photo of the front and back of the check, but sometimes the app doesn’t like the way the picture turns out. The most difficult part of the entire process is taking acceptable photos of both sides of the check.

Wells Fargo Deposit Capture

Here’s a typical run through of the process:

  1. Download the app of choice (I use one for my commercial bank and another app for my credit union).
  1. Using your mobile device log into your bank account (typing in those long and hopefully secure passwords are a killer on the small device).
  1. Select the appropriate menu option that will allow you to deposit a check.
  1. Select the account into which the check will be deposited and insert the dollar amount of the check.
  1. After telling the app the amount of the deposit, it’s time to take a photo of the front and back of the check. Some apps will automatically snap a photo once the device is properly positioned over the check. Other apps allow you to snap the photo yourself.
  1. Once the photo is taken, you have the option to use it or discard it in favor of a better photo. The photo taking process is the longest part of this journey. Tip: placing the check on a dark background seems to quicken the process.
  1. Once acceptable photos have been taken, finish the transaction by submitting the information.
  1. Make sure you get a confirmation that the check was successfully deposited. Each financial institution acknowledges receipt of deposit differently. My commercial bank sends me an email with a scanned image of the check (image does not include routing or account number, just in case the email ends up in the wrong hands). My credit union sends a confirmation email minus the image.

Once the check is deposited and accepted, you should write “Mobile Deposit” along with the date deposited across the top of the check and retain it for your files. My commercial bank instructs me to save the check for 7 days while the credit union advises me to retain the check for 60 days. The choice is yours. Once it’s been deposited and clears, I see no need to keep the check any longer.

If you’re like me, all you need to do is go through the process once (or maybe twice) and you’ll become a convert as I have.  I’m hard pressed to drive to the bank anymore just to deposit a check. Yes, I’m usually a little late to the technological party, but at least I’m at the party now.

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Category: Apps, Mobile Technology

About the Author ()

Felicia (aka Low Tech Grandma) is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance writer and low tech blogger.

Comments (2)

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  1. Loretta says:

    Felicia, as usual, you’ve posted another enjoyable and informative post. I’ve heard about this bank app and I think it is great that there is one more step to eliminate those time-consuming trips to the bank. A few decades ago, (Geez, has it been that long?) I finally grew comfortable with online banking and became, and have been, a long time proponent of it. I use it faithfully, even though I become a Nervous Nellie whenever I hear about another hacking event involving the big boys like Microsoft, Facebook, and recently Sony. I’m sure that those corporations have a trillion more layers of protection for their online systems than I could dream about having on my computers. However, I have not yet grown comfortable with putting access to my personal info on my Smartphone — even password protected. As anxious as I get when worrying about the personal info I have on my home computers, I know that if access to some of that same personal info was on my Smartphone (with my propensity to misplace things), I’d feel as vulnerable as a naked old lady doing a pirouette in traffic on 5th Avenue. Ever so often I extend the boundaries of my comfort zone. Who knows, in a few months, I may stretch that box further and try the bank check depositing app. Keep bringing us such useful information.

    • LOL, a naked lady pirouetting down 5th avenue! It’s not that bad. LOL!

      I don’t save any of my baking information when I use the apps. I don’t even save my username on the app. It takes me forever to punch in the user name and password, but its quicker than jumping in the car and driving to the bank.

      I understand your hesitance. I was that way about buying a smartphone. Since buying one, though, I’ve found that it has made my life easier in some ways. I still don’t talk on the phone, but making check deposits is a regular practice for me.

      When the time is right, you’ll make your first deposit. 🙂

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