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More banks OK smartphone deposits

By Claes Bell · Bankrate.com
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Posted: 8 am ET

If you're like me and you tend to carry a check around in your wallet for a while before you get to the bank to deposit it, then you'd probably love to be able to have the ability to deposit checks from home or on the go. Well, one technology now being offered by many banks and credit unions, called "remote deposit capture," allows you to do so in minutes via an app on your smartphone.

If you've never seen the technology in action before, it uses your smartphone's camera to capture an image of a check. That image is then uploaded to the bank, usually via an app, and is used to process the deposit, leaving you to spend the time you would have spent driving to the bank watching reality television, eating a sandwich or whatever is you like to do. Some banks bundle the technology into their smartphone apps only, while others allow you to take a picture of the check and upload it manually via their websites.

ING recently announced its customers will be getting in on the remote deposit action, joining customers at Chase, USAA, PNC and other banks and credit unions. I say, the more, the better. The feature is just too darn useful and efficient not to be a win-win for customers and banks, and I'm sure we'll see this become an industry standard over the next few years as smartphones continue their rapid penetration into U.S. households.

More than that, it's one more nail in the coffin of bank customers' dependence on physical branches, allowing them to shop for the best deals on checking accounts rather than just accepting whatever bank is a convenient driving distance from their house.

In fact, the only hang-ups I can see are technical difficulties and security, and as long as banks execute well on those, what's not to like? Account fundamentals such as fees, interest rates and service are more important, but if I was in the market for a new bank, I'd sure take a look at their mobile banking app suite and see if they offer remote deposit capabilities.

What do you think? Do you use remote deposit capture? Would you like to see your bank offer it?

Follow me on Twitter: @ClaesBell.

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2 Comments
Jason
May 10, 2012 at 1:17 pm

I love this idea! I have been on my credit union for months now about when they are going to provide this technology (This summer) and look forward to the day that I can finally use it on my monthly expense check.