Personal banking trends have shifted online as more consumers migrate towards accessing banking accounts through their smartphones.
According to a national survey, U.S. consumers ranked “mobile check deposit” as the most valuable feature on a bank’s mobile app, beating other features such as viewing account balances and transferring funds between accounts.
It’s easy to take advantage of the many ways you can deposit checks without going to the bank. Read on to discover how mobile check deposit works and how it can make completing an everyday banking transaction faster and easier on your wallet.
Mobile Check Deposit and How it Works
One of the easiest ways to stay away from those long lines at the bank is to take advantage of online banking features. Almost all banks have a website portal where customers can check balances and transfer money between accounts.
Some banks offer customers the ability to deposit checks online. Other banks only allow mobile check deposits through the bank’s mobile app for smartphones.
Be sure to read your bank’s check deposit guidelines. Online bank websites like https://www.farmersbankidaho.com/ guide you through the mobile check deposit process and even offer a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) link.
Download the App
The first step to getting your check deposited into your account is to download the financial institution’s mobile banking app. If your bank offers this feature online, you might have to enroll in the program.
Once downloaded and you’re able to sign in, look for the mobile check deposits tab within the app to guide you through the process.
Signing Your Check
In a mobile check deposit transaction, the bank will not have physical possession of the paper check. So signing checks the right way is a critical step.
Most banks recommend the payee endorse the check and also add the words “For Mobile Deposit Only” or a similar phrase below your signature. This ensures the check is correctly signed.
Taking a Photo or Scanning It
When using the mobile check deposit feature, you take a snapshot of the front and back of your check. Another easy option is using a scanner app to upload a photo of both sides of the check.
Be sure the entire check is visible within the photo. Consider taking a picture of the check lying flat behind a dark background and from the top view. Avoid taking a photo at an angle. Your bank could reject an illegible check.
Submitting and Confirming
Once photos of the front and back of the check are uploaded and the amount of the check is filled in, customers hit a “submit” button to send the money electronically to the bank.
Banks will send a confirmation text or email stating what amount was deposited into your account and let you know when the money should be available.
What Types of Checks Are Accepted
The great news about mobile check deposit services is that banks take personal checks, business checks, cashier’s checks, and checks issued by the federal government. That means tax refunds can be deposited from anywhere and land in your bank account sooner rather than later.
The only checks most financial institutions may not allow are foreign checks, money orders, and traveler’s checks. Be sure to read your bank’s mobile checking guidelines.
How Long Should You Keep the Checks
Banks recommend consumers hold onto their checks at least until it clears into your account, in case there’s a problem with the deposit. How long that takes depends on the financial institution.
For important checks that you might need for tax documents, file those away for later reference. Some banks only allow customers to view images of deposited checks for the past 30 days. For older images, you might have to request access, and that could take longer.
Benefits of Remote Check Deposits
When you take advantage of remote check deposits, not only are you saving time with fewer trips to the bank, but you’re saving money by using less gas.
Another added bonus is getting access to your deposit earlier. Transactions that post before a bank’s mobile deposit cutoff times are available the next business day.
Trust That It’s Secure
If you’re wondering if a mobile check deposit is secure, trust that it’s a safe way to bank.
In 2004, a federal law commonly referred to as Check 21 gave banks the ability to treat the photo of the check as a legal document. The law made processing a check electronically more efficient and secure.
Other Ways to Deposit Checks Without Going to the Bank
If using a mobile app to deposit a check isn’t for you, there are a few other ways to cash the check without stepping into a bank branch.
One way is to load it onto a prepaid card. This alternative works the same way as a mobile banking app. Users endorse the check and take a picture of the signed check. The prepaid card mobile app uploads the check, but the money could take up to 10 days to process.
Use a Check Cashing Service
If you don’t have a bank account, many retailers offer check-cashing services. Most charge a fee for the service, which is usually a percentage of the check amount. Be sure to ask about the specific check-cashing procedures to avoid added costs.
Skip the Bank With an App to Deposit Checks
And if you’re looking to save yourself time and money, there’s no better time to eliminate that extra trip to the bank than by using a bank’s mobile app to deposit checks into your checking or savings account.
Not only will you have access to your funds faster, but you can trust that taking a photo of your check is a safe and secure way to complete an everyday banking transaction.
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