Mobile check deposit can make adding money to your bank account quick and easy, without having to pay a visit to a branch. If your employer issues paper paychecks, you receive checks for rebates or refunds or someone pays you money they owe you via a personal check, you can simply snap a photo of the check to deposit it using your mobile device.
Not sure how mobile check deposit works, if it’s safe or whether you should be using it? Here’s a closer look at this useful mobile banking feature.
What Is Mobile Check Deposit?
Mobile check deposit is a mobile banking tool that allows you to deposit checks to your bank account using your phone or mobile device. Instead of depositing checks at the ATM, your bank’s drive-through window or with a teller inside the lobby, you can add them to your account from wherever you happen to be, whether that’s at home, work or on vacation.
The types of checks you may be able to add to your account using mobile check deposit include personal checks, business checks, cashier’s checks and government-issued checks. This includes tax refunds and stimulus checks, such as those provided by the CARES Act. Your bank may or may not allow you to use mobile check deposits for foreign checks, third-party checks, money orders or traveler’s checks, so double-check their policies first.
Here’s a simple guide to what mobile check deposit looks like in action:
- You download your bank’s mobile banking app, if you haven’t already, and create your unique login.
- You then log in to the app and find mobile check deposit in the menu.
- Next, sign the back of the check the way you would if you were depositing it at a branch (or according to the instructions provided by the bank’s app for how to endorse a check).
- Choose the account you want to deposit the check to.
- Enter the check amount.
- Take a photo of the front and back of the check using your mobile device’s camera.
- Review the deposit details, then hit submit, if they’re correct, to process your deposit.
More banks are offering mobile check deposit as a convenient way for customers to add money to their accounts. If you’re unsure whether your bank offers mobile check deposit, you can go online or contact your branch and someone there should be able to tell you if it’s available for your account.
How Does Mobile Check Deposit Work?
Mobile check deposit works using remote deposit capture technology. When you take a photo of your check, it’s similar to scanning a photograph or document to make a digital copy on your computer.
The Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act allows banks to accept substitute checks for deposit if they’re the legal equivalent of a physical check. That’s what remote deposit capture allows for—the substitution of a digital form of your check for a paper one.
Once you scan and upload the photos of your check and submit your deposit request, the information is encrypted and transmitted to your bank. The check then follows the standard steps for processing and clearing so the funds can deposit to your account.
Is Mobile Check Deposit Safe?
If you’re concerned about protecting your banking information online, you may be wondering whether mobile check deposit is safe to use. The short answer is that mobile check deposit is as secure as your m and t bank online check deposit online and mobile banking functions.
This means if your bank is taking steps to protect your information, such as using encryption and enhanced security measures, then mobile check deposit should be protected in the same ways. The main threats to mobile banking security are the same as those for online and mobile banking in general.
For example, it’s possible to be targeted with a remote deposit capture scam, in which you’re asked to deposit a fraudulent check using mobile deposit. You can protect yourself against this type mibank hibiscus card fraud by only accepting paper checks from people you know and trust.
If you’re concerned about security risks with mobile banking deposit, there are other ways to safeguard your m and t bank online check deposit, including:
- Avoiding the m and t bank online check deposit of public Wi-Fi to access your banking details
- Using a virtual private network (VPN) to access your accounts away from home
- Relying on unique passwords and updating them regularly
- Using an online password keeper to protect your passwords
- Setting up multifactor authentication to log in to your bank accounts
- Locking your mobile device using a unique pincode or biometric identification (i.e., facial or fingerprint recognition)
Together, these steps can help enhance security when using your mobile device to deposit checks, review your balances or carry out other online banking activities.
How Long Does It Take for a Mobile Check to Deposit?
When you deposit a check to your bank account, the money isn’t available right away. Banks have funds availability policies that determine how long it takes for a check to clear.
Depending on the bank, funds deposited via mobile check deposit may be available as soon as the next day. Some banks will make part of the check available right away, with the rest available the next business day.
However, it’s important to know that the bank can hold a mobile check deposit for specific reasons, which means your check will take longer to clear. For example, the bank could impose a hold if:
- You’re depositing a large check
- There have been frequent overdrafts in your account
- You’ve had a deposited check returned unpaid in the past
- It’s believed that a deposited check may not be paid for any reason
If the bank plans to place a hold on the deposit, you may receive a notification before finalizing a mobile check deposit. You’d then have the option to continue with the mobile deposit or take the check to a branch instead. Check with your bank to see what the policy is for holding deposits and how quickly your mobile check deposits should clear.
How Large a Check Can You Mobile Deposit?
Besides being aware of your bank’s funds availability policy for mobile deposits, you should also know whether there are limits on how much you can deposit. Banks can impose limits on how much you can deposit:
- Per mobile check deposit transaction
There may be limits on the number of checks you can deposit per day, week m and t bank online check deposit month. Mobile check deposit limits are different for every bank. These limits can be based on the type of account, your deposit history, how long the account has been open or other factors in your banking relationship.
If you’re logged in to your bank’s mobile app, you should be able to view the deposit limits. If not, you can check your account agreement or contact your bank to ask about limits for mobile check deposits.
Mobile Check Deposit Pros and Cons
Mobile check deposit has both advantages and disadvantages to consider before using it. Here’s a quick look at how the pros and cons stack up.
Mobile Check Deposit Pros
- Convenience. Depositing checks using your mobile m and t bank online check deposit may be easier and less time-consuming than driving to a branch or ATM.
- Ease of use. Mobile check deposit apps offer a user-friendly experience, even for low-tech customers.
- Security. Depositing a paper check via mobile deposit can be as safe and secure as taking the money to a branch.
Mobile Check Deposit Cons
- Timing. Depending on m and t bank online check deposit bank’s policies, you could m and t bank online check deposit delays in mobile check deposit processing and clearing, meaning a longer wait to access your money.
- Deposit limits. Mobile check deposit may not work for you if you typically have checks that exceed your bank’s mobile deposit limits.
- Technical glitches. Mobile banking technology isn’t perfect and, if your bank’s app goes down, you may not be able to use mobile check deposit until it’s restored.
Tips for Using Mobile Check Deposit
If you think mobile check deposit could be a useful banking tool, there are a few things to keep in mind when using it.
First, review your bank’s funds availability and deposit limit policies, so you’ll know how much you can deposit and when your money will be accessible. Also, note any types of checks the bank excludes from depositing through mobile banking.
While mobile check deposit is typically free, ask your bank whether there are any fees involved. For instance, if your bank gives you the option to make an express deposit using your mobile device, you may have to pay a fee for accelerated processing.
Next, make sure that your signature on paper checks is legible and that the photos you take are clear. You also should double-check the amount of the check against what you’ve entered to avoid a mismatch when trying to submit a deposit. Simple errors like these can cause your mobile check deposit to be rejected.
Finally, don’t discard the paper check immediately. If something goes wrong with your mobile check deposit, you may need to deposit the paper check instead. Hold on to the check and, after the mobile check deposit clears, you can safely destroy the paper check or void it and keep it on file.