What are Mobile Check Deposits? Everything You Need to Know
by Colleen Burton
In an era where seemingly everything is becoming digitized, the rise of digital checking solutions is something that is far from surprising. With digital check deposits, it becomes easy for people to quickly—and accurately—deposit their checks from the comfort of their own home. This helps people save a considerable amount of time and, as has been proven to be necessary so far in 2020, also makes it easy for people to avoid unnecessary trips to their bank.
The proliferation of mobile check deposits, both in the United States and elsewhere around the world, has become abundantly apparent. According to recent estimates provided by Retail Dive, over 12 million Americans have made a mobile deposit at least once. Additionally, the value of all checks made via mobile deposits exceeds $40 billion, representing a significant portion of all checks being deposited.
As James DeBello, CEO of San Diego’s Mitek helps explain, “Mobile deposit, the ability for consumers to quickly and easily deposit checks using their smartphone or tablet cameras has become a must-have for banks as consumers increasingly adopt a mobile lifestyle.” Mobile usage has not only been increasing, in general, but in fact, mobile devices are now used more frequently than laptops and desktops. As more people around the globe gain access to reliable mobile networks, the prevalence, and importance of mobile payment processing solutions will continue to increase.
While the process of depositing checks via mobile devices is relatively straightforward, there are still plenty of people with pressing questions. In this article, we will answer some of the most common questions that people have about mobile checking. By taking the time to understand how mobile check deposits have influenced our world, you just might be able to find a way to take advantage of this unique, valuable practice.
What Are Mobile Check Deposits?
A mobile check deposit, as the name might suggest, is a method used for depositing both personal and printed checks using a smartphone device. Usually, to make a mobile check deposit, you will need to begin by downloading the app or other type of software that is connected with your bank. From there, you will be able to take a picture of the physical check and make a deposit directly into an account of your choosing. Mobile check deposits can generally be completed with either a checking account or a savings account. Usually, these funds will be available within the 1-5 business days—the exact amount of time this takes will depend on your bank and other factors, such as demand for mobile banking. As time has gone, the number of banks offering mobile check deposits has continually increased.
How Do Mobile Check Deposits Work?
When conducting a mobile check deposit, you will be prompted to digitally enter the total amount of the deposit, endorse the check, and also (usually) print something along the lines of “for mobile deposit only” on the endorsement line. Naturally, you might be wondering, “what is to stop me from entering a $100 check as a $100,000 check?” In addition to having daily limits for both individual and total mobile deposits, these checks will also need to be confirmed as valid by your bank. If the amount you enter does not match the actual amount printed on the check, the check itself will be rejected. If it is your first time using mobile deposits or mobile banking, you may be required to answer security questions or even provide some form of identification. Because the specific rules for mobile checking are established by your financial institution, rather than a universal regulator, you should direct all questions to the bank or whichever payment processing partner you are currently working with.
Are Mobile Check Deposits Safe?
One of the most common concerns that people have about mobile check deposits (and payment processing, in general) is whether the practice itself is actually safe. Fortunately, there are many security measures in place to reduce the risk of fraud (or accidental errors). In addition to checking your digital entry against the physical check, the daily limits imposed on mobile checking limit your exposure to risk. Typically, the limit for mobile checking will be about $2,500 to $5,000 per day. Additionally, most banks are required to have a regulated fraud prevention program in place, meaning that in the rare case that something does go wrong, you will not be without recourse. Furthermore, as many of today’s top check printing and issuing companies will assure you, there are many modern security features, including positive pay and thermochromatic ink, that are designed to help keep these checks safe.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Mobile Check Deposits?
As is the case with all things payment processing, mobile check deposits have both pros and cons associated with them. The main benefit of mobile check deposits is convenience, which has proven itself to be especially important amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than needing to physically go to the bank, you can easily deposit these checks from anywhere in the world. The main drawback of mobile deposits is that, contrary to most checks being deposited by hand, there is a notable delay between when the deposit is made and when you can actually access the funds. If you need to access the money immediately, it might be wise to visit your bank or financial institution in person. Otherwise, mobile check deposits are safe, efficient, and easy to transact.
In a world that is constantly innovating and changing, the recent rise of mobile check deposits is something that is far from surprising. Mobile check deposits help both consumers and businesses deposit much-needed funds from seemingly anywhere in the world. Along with other changes, such as positive pay and automatic payments, it is clear that the payment processing industry—as a whole—is moving in a consumer-positive direction. If you would like to learn more about mobile check deposits or innovative checking practices, in general, be sure to speak to either your bank or your current payment processing partner.
About the Author
Colleen Burton, M.A., is a seasoned writer based out of Denver, Colorado, with experience creating content for medical, finance, entertainment, B2B, and wellness organizations. She received her Master’s degree in English from the University at Albany and currently works for Peaks Digital Marketing.