1) Get the app associated with your card account. These days, almost every bank either has an app to go with their account or is working to get one. Usually, the app’s interface will work with every account that an individual has. As a result, you can now conduct almost all of your banking with your phone. Not every app includes a remote check deposit service, but the trend is that all will soon add this service.
2) Endorse the check by putting your signature on the back of the check. Additionally, some apps may ask that you put your account number on the check. You do not have to pull up your account number on your own. The banks that ask for this information will project your account number on to your screen during the deposit process.
3) Take pictures of the front and the back of the check. Try to take pictures in even light and make sure that all four corners of the check are captured within the photograph. The app will ask you to affirm that the picture is of the appropriate resolution and crop.
4) Tell the bank the amount of the deposit. If you have more than one account, then you should also tell the bank which account should receive the funds.
5) Hit “submit” on the app to send the check to the bank.
6) Wait for the bank’s app to confirm that it received the transmission of your photo. The bank should send you a confirmation text or email as well. Do not close the app until you have received confirmation. Usually, approval takes about 30 seconds.
7) Wait for the bank to alert you to when the funds are available to be spent. In my experience, this period can vary from less than one minute to as long as two weeks. The timing depends upon several factors. Have you deposited a check from this payer before? Is the amount of the check unusually large? Is this a payroll check or is it a personal check? Usually, payroll checks will process faster. Some banks will not accept money orders for remote deposit. If the bank’s process flags the check for a long period of review, the app will allow you to cancel the deposit.
8) Until you have received confirmation that the deposit has been accepted, keep the paper check in a safe place. You may want to establish a practice of filing all of your remotely-deposited checks, especially if the transaction has implications for your tax returns. The opportunity to hold on to your physical checks, as opposed to hoping that your bank will provide a photocopy of the check in your next statement, is in my mind another positive difference-maker associated with remote deposit.
For some people, using remote deposit will take some time to accept as a normal way of banking. But it is one of those things that most people love once they give it a shot. I like that I can deposit a check within minutes of opening my mail.
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