Deposit checks to your bank via an iPhone photo

Deposit checks to your bank via an iPhone photo

Summary: Back when I was an officer in the US Coast Guard I signed up for banking with USAA Federal Savings Bank and it was probably the best financial decision I ever made. USAA is a bank designed for military members and has a ton of awesome services for those on the go. I have only seen one physical branch in my entire life and all my banking is done remotely. USAA was one of the first banks to launch an iPhone application and according to the New York Times an updated version will be launched this week that lets you take a photo of a check with the iPhone and have it deposited to your account.

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Back when I was an officer in the US Coast Guard I signed up for banking with USAA Federal Savings Bank and it was probably the best financial decision I ever made. USAA is a bank designed for military members and has a ton of awesome services for those on the go. I have only seen one physical branch in my entire life and all my banking is done remotely. USAA was one of the first banks to launch an iPhone application and according to the New York Times an updated version will be launched this week that lets you take a photo of a check with the iPhone and have it deposited to your account.

This really is not that big of a surprise for those of us USAA members who deposit checks since we have been able to scan checks in and have them deposited automatically for a couple of years. I never mail in checks and after scanning them I just note on them they were deposited via the Deposit @Home service and then file them away. This updated iPhone application should be a faster and simpler solution than having to scan in the check's front and back though and I look forward to trying it out.

The iPhone and iPhone 3G do not take very good close up photos so I wonder if an iPhone 3GS is required to use this service. You could also use a Clarifi case from Griffin Technology that I have used before with Evernote to take better close up photos.

I plan to contact USAA to find out if I can take a photo of my check with my other mobile phones and have it uploaded through their secure mobile site as well. If not, I will use my iPhone via WiFi to take care of this at home.

Thanks to Mobile Content Today for the heads-up on the news.

Topics: Banking, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

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7 comments
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  • Fascinating concept

    What about security/fraud, though? All those fancy anti-counterfiting features built into the check paper?
    gtvr
    • Its using the technology the banks already use.

      The physical check is rarely handled anymore, most are converted to an image at the processing center. What this is allowing the member to do is acomplish this step for USAA and take the load off them. I'm sure if there is a problem with depositing the check USAA will notify the member and/or request the physical check. Again though, the membership as a whole caters to the military audience - where generally fraud is minimal anyway.
      JT82
      • Yeah, but the image conversion is done by the bank

        from the physical check in hand.

        It's pretty easy to doctor a scanned check.
        frgough
        • its equally as easy to decline the check..

          and have the member send it in. You also need to have a Loan or Credit Card product to qualify to use these types of deposits, so they are covered.
          JT82
  • To answer your question...

    I am a USAA member (have been for 9 years) and they are rolling out a version of this for the Blackberry devices and other Windows Smartphones. They covered this in their June webcast I believe. I havent seen release dates and the guys on the webcast (accessible from the USAA website and on their Facebook page), but I know its coming. iPhone was just first.
    JT82
    • Great news, thanks!

      Good to hear they will be rolling it out to other
      devices. I never knew they had a webcast or
      Facebook page and will have to check them out.
      USAA really looks to be on the cutting edge of
      technology, which makes me even more pleased to be
      a member.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
  • RE: Deposit checks to your bank via an iPhone photo

    That's really cool. I hope more banks follow suit with
    that feature in apps for the iPhone! http://www.computersncs.com/rd_p?p=186122&t=9544&a=29670-
    zdnet&gift=29670
    lovemagic