Deposit Checks Electronically: There's an App for That

By Andrea Edmunds Aug 10th, 2009

I hate checks.

I hate depositing checks. And I hate that I have one friend that insists on continuing to write me checks so that I have to drag myself down to the physical bank to deposit them. It’s enough to make me consider buying an iPhone and changing my banking services to USAA. They've just developed an iPhone app that allows you to deposit checks electronically by taking pictures of it. Goodbye banks, hello 21st century. 

Mobile banking is the best thing to hit the world. I can manage my finances easier, be better about saving and never lose bills or other important financial documents. It’s all stored online. USAA, with only one branch in San Antonio and serving mostly military people, needs a really good mobile banking solution. They have their members deployed all over the country. What is a soldier training in Georgia to do if he gets his birthday check from his grandma? He can’t very well take it to Texas.

Enter the USAA’s iPhone app. Just take a picture of the front and back of your check, send it to the bank and it’s deposited and treated like a regular check and you never have to drive around town looking for a bank without lines at the drive up tellers.

While it’s rumored that USAA is working on apps for other smartphones, this service won’t be available for everyone. Forget about those who need an iPhone - users have to qualify for the app. Customers who are eligible for credit and have insurance through USAA will be able to use it, which means about 60% of the banks customers qualify.

I can’t see this making it any easier to make fraudulent check claims. If someone copies the signature and then prints off their own check to fill in their desired number of zeros then it would be the same difference as someone printing off the check and trying to deposit it without the iPhone. There will still be the same and effective checks and balances in place to prevent fraud. As far as whether or not the check will be secure sending it in electronically, I don’t really see any difference between this and the fact that my bank scans all my checks in and provides images of them for me to view on my online banking statement.

Personally, I’m 100% for this new system and I’m thinking of writing a letter to my bank to see if they’d institute it as well. Only, if they could not have it be exclusive to the iPhone, I’d really appreciate it. For more on the latest tech news, check out these other blog posts:

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