Deposited a Check by SmartPhone (137/366)

20120730-143747.jpg“Three objects were considered essential across all participants, cultures and genders: keys, money and mobile phone.”
~ Jan Chipchase, Nokia

Have you ever deposited a check by smartphone before? It is seriously one of the coolest tricks of technology today.

Nick and I belong to a credit union. While we really like the friendly people and are glad we don’t have to deal with the hidden fees and shifty practices that can be associated with big banks, we don’t get the cool perks like rewards on our debit cards or real mobile banking, because credit unions are generally smaller and a bit behind on technology.

But several years ago I opened an account at INGDirect – mainly an online presence, at least in Northern California. They had better rates than any nearby banks or credit unions, so I created a few savings accounts there.

This year, they rolled out some cool new technology and offered a $50 bonus when you opened and used one of their Orange checking accounts. These accounts also have debit cards you can use to access your funds (who writes checks anymore nowadays?), which is great since we try not to use credit cards. One thing (besides the bonus) I was particularly excited about was the ability to deposit a check via your smartphone. AWESOME.

All you do is sign your check, take a picture of the front and back according to the prompts in the app, type in the total amount of the check, and you’re done.

After you snap the pics and enter your info, you receive an email letting you know they’ve received your deposit request, and that you’ll get another email when the deposit has been accepted. Once your deposit is accepted, the funds are available in your account.

Since this was my first time depositing a check by picture/phone, I wasn’t sure how long the approval would take. Did I do it right? Was my picture clear enough? My questions were answered less than an hour after receiving my initial email that my request had been received – my deposit had indeed posted!

This was so cool. Our credit union is about a 15-20 minute drive away in a mostly residential area, so we’re not out there often and we used to have to make special trips just to cash checks out there. Being able to deposit remotely is just magical. Technology is so awesome. Thanks, iPhone!

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