Mobile Check Deposits and What You Should Know
Banks Call It "Remote Deposit Capture"
Making a special trip to the bank has become a thing of the past for some people. That's because they have turned to mobile check depositing. Putting your checks in the bank has never been easier and more convenient.
There is absolutely no reason to use gas and time to run to the bank every time you need to deposit a check. If you have a smartphone or a tablet and your bank has the "remote deposit capture" feature, you can deposit a check from the comfort of your own home.
More than 75 million U.S. consumers use their smartphones or tablets for this type of banking. Not all banks offer the service which became legal in 2004. However, some of the largest banks in the U.S. and Canada have the service such as Bank of America, Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo and some credit unions. If you want this service and your bank doesn't have it, you might consider changing banks.
Whether you are already using the service or not, here are some things you should know about it.
1. Limit on Daily or Monthly Deposits
There is a limit to the amount you can deposit on a daily, weekly, or monthly deposit. Some people don't have a problem with this, but some banks have a maximum on the amount you can deposit during a set time.
Banks have their own policies. Usually, the monthly limit ranges from $2,500 to $750,000. Check with your own bank to find out what its cap is. This rule is to safeguard against fraudulent activity.
If you have more than the maximum amount for mobile deposits, you can take your money to the bank and deposit it the old-fashioned way.
2. Deposit Not Immediately Available
The deposit isn't immediately available because it has to be processed. Banks have a time schedule for when checks will be processed. For instance, banks usually have 3 p.m. as their evening cutoff time.
Checks deposited after that time will be available the next business day. Try to make deposits early in the day. Keep in mind that weekends and holidays don’t count as business days. So, you will have to wait longer if you make deposits during that time.
3. Bounced Checks Can Be Returned
Even after you have received a confirmation, your bank can return a mobile deposit to you if the check bounces because of insufficient funds from the account of the person who wrote the check.
Make sure you have enough funds in your account without relying on the digitally check you just deposited just in case it bounces.
4. Banks Store Images of Checks
Images of checks are not stored on smartphones or tablets in case the electronics are lost or stolen.
Even though your smartphones and tablets don't save an image of your checks, banks do store the images for your protection.
5. Money Orders and Travelers Checks Not Accepted
Most banks don't have an issue with most checks; however, money orders and traveler checks are not accepted at many banks.
Popularity of Mobile Check Deposits
There are very good reasons people are choosing mobile check deposits over the old-fashioned ways.
- It's easy to do.
- It's convenient.
- It saves time.
- It saves money on gas.
- You can do it after banking hours.
- You can make a deposit on weekends and holidays.
- You don't have to stand in a line at the bank.
- The service is free because digital deposits are cheaper for banks to process. Some banks are known to charge 50 cents for each check.
How to Make a Mobile Deposit
In order to use the mobile deposit feature, you must set up the app from your bank on your phone or tablet only once. When you are ready to deposit a check, simply endorse the check as usual. Take a photo of the front. Then take a photo of the back. Submit the images and confirm deposit.
You will get a confirmation that the institution has received the deposit, but the proceeds are not available immediately. Hold onto the check until it clears by the bank. Some people like to hold on to it a little longer just in case something happens.
Eventually, shred the check because it is no longer valid, but someone else in your household or crooks don't know that and might try to cash it.