How to Mobile Deposit a Check With Your Smartphone
You can deposit a check into your account using your phone, but you still have to follow the bank's rules.
The rise of online-only banks and apps that allow money transfers in just a few seconds from a smartphone has led to consumers no longer having to rely on ATMs or a bank teller to handle their paper checks. Customers can now upload an image of their check using a mobile app in order to deposit their money.
However, mobile deposits will only work if you follow your bank or credit union's policies.
Here's how to deposit a check by phone, with some exceptions depending on your bank.
Download your financial institution's app and understand your bank or credit union's policies. Endorse the check properly and take photos of the front and back of the check. Confirm transaction details and send to your financial institution. Hold on to the check for several days and discard the check once it's cleared.
To start depositing your checks by phone, read on for more detail on what's involved in each step.
Most financial institutions offer an app that you can download to your phone. This can be a great way to check your account balances, transfer money, and even deposit checks.Your financial institution probably offers an app that you can download to your phone. This can be a great way to check your account balances, transfer money, and even deposit checks.
If you want to conduct a mobile check deposit, you will need to download the bank's app. You can do this by clicking on a link on the bank's website. It is important to make sure you have the official app and that you are using the latest version.
When you open a new checking or savings account, your bank or credit union will give you a document that outlines its policies.Make sure you understand these policies, because they will affect how you use your account.Your bank or credit union's policies will affect how you use your account, so make sure you understand them.
Most banks limit the amount of money you can deposit digitally to prevent fraud. "Banks often have a limit of a few thousand dollars per day or per month," says Christopher Maher, chairman and CEO of OceanFirst Bank in Toms River, New Jersey. These amounts may range from $500 to $5,000 in a single day at many institutions.
Depending on the financial institution, processing times for mobile deposits may vary. Some banks may hold the mobile deposit for one or two days before the funds are released, as OceanFirst Bank does, for example. However, at OceanFirst Bank, deposits of more than $5,000 are held until the check clears, and customers are notified once the money is available. On the other hand, at Bryn Mawr Trust in Pennsylvania, the deposit limit per day is $3,500. "I think we're one of the few places that allow our business customers to use the application (as well)," says Lindsay Saling, senior vice president and director of retail banking for Bryn Mawr Trust.
Most institutions now offer mobile deposits for free, though when the service first started out, banks may have charged a fee.
Be sure to endorse a check before cashing or depositing it. An endorsed check is one that has your signature on the back. This signature gives the bank permission to hand over the funds to you.EndorsementBe sure to endorse a check before cashing or depositing it by signing the back of the check. This signature gives the bank permission to hand over the funds to you.
After confirming your check falls within your bank's deposit limits, endorse the check.
"When it comes to endorsing your check, some banks may have different rules, such as requiring something specific be written on the check, such as 'for mobile deposit.' Most institutions will also not accept a mobile deposit of a third-party check that has been signed over to you," Maher says.
Endorsement language is important when depositing a check to minimize the chance of a duplicate deposit. For example, you may deposit your check using the mobile app while your spouse tries to take it to the bank without realizing it has already been deposited. In this situation, the bank should flag the duplicate transaction.
"Most check printing companies now have a box to indicate it's a mobile deposit," Saling says. This is to ensure a check isn't taken to a branch after a mobile deposit.
You should take photos of both the front and back of the check before you deposit it.
When making a mobile deposit, it is important to take clear photos. Your bank's app may have a feature that can help you by incorporating a frame to help line up the image. Some people have trouble holding their phone steady when they take photos, but the app may make it easier. For example, Bryn Mawr Trust's app prompts customers to hover over the check while the app automatically captures the image of the check.
When banking online, it is important to remember that there are security and privacy risks associated with mobile check deposits. Consumers should take the same precautions they would use for any other sensitive transaction, such as not using public Wi-Fi and snapping photos in a private location.
Please review the transaction details below and click "Confirm" to send your payment request to your financial institution.Please review the transaction details below and click "Confirm" to send your payment request to your financial institution.
"They just leave it in their inbox."
"We do see customers who don't hit submit," Saling says. "They just leave it in their inbox."
After taking pictures of your check and entering your deposit amount, you'll need to confirm the details and then send the transaction through to your bank or credit union.
You should hold on to the check for several days to make sure that it doesn't bounce.Wait a Few Days Before Depositing the CheckYou should wait a few days before depositing the check to make sure that it doesn't bounce.
After you deposit a check, don't throw it away just yet. "It's really important to keep the check for a few days," Maher says. The bank may need to see the paper check if there's a problem with the transaction, such as a blurry photo or excess deposits.
You should discard the check once it's cleared.
"Once the funds are available and the check has cleared, you can throw the check away," says Scott Butler, financial planner with advisory firm Klauenberg Retirement Solutions in Laurel, Maryland. "Ultimately, (people) should be using a shredder. You don't want someone getting hold of your check and trying to cash it or deposit it."
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You can view all 17 slides by clicking on the link below.Click on the link below to view all 17 slides.