Mobile Check Deposits: What It Is and How It Works

Banking
Updated: 29th Sep 2021
Written by Justin Estes
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Managing your finances can be tedious and stressful, especially in our fast-paced and busy world.

You need to go out of your way to visit a bank for a simple deposit, breaking into any free time you may have.

Now, living in a post-pandemic world, you are probably used to doing things from the comfort of your own home. The best banks understand this, which is they are offering a mobile check deposit feature.

This allows you to make deposits from your mobile device, preventing any visits to your bank.

Overall, mobile check deposits are a fast and easy way to make deposits without breaking into your daily life.

What Is Mobile Deposit?

Mobile Deposit is an easy way to deposit checks virtually. Banks will allow you to scan paper checks with your mobile device’s camera and upload it into your account via the bank’s app. This method is safe and convenient and will save you time.

How Does Mobile Check Deposit Work?

Mobile check deposit allows you to take a photo of your check and upload it to your bank. This is possible due to remote deposit capture technology, enabling you to legally create a digital substitute of a physical check.

This way, banks can accept your digital check as a legal equivalent to your physical check.

After you have submitted your digital check and deposit request, your information is encrypted and sent to your bank, where it will be processed and eventually deposited into your account.

How to Make a Mobile Check Deposit (Step-by-Step)

Each bank may have a slightly different sign-up process; however, these are the standard procedures you will encounter.

#1. Access (or Download) Your Bank’s Mobile App

First, you will need to download your bank’s mobile app if you haven’t already done so. Then, open the app and find the mobile deposit feature.

#2. Select Your Bank Account

At this point, you will choose which account you want your checks deposited into.

#3. Endorse (Sign) Your Check

Be sure to sign your check. Also, some banks may require a note that specifies that your check is for a mobile deposit.

#3. Enter Check Amount

Before you take a photo, enter the desired amount for your check. Ensure that you don’t exceed any limits that your bank has set or that your check won’t be deposited.

#4. Take A Photograph of Your Check

After entering all your information, you will use your mobile device to photograph the front and back of your check. These photos will act as the legal digital substitute for the physical check.

#5. Verify and Submit Your Mobile Check Deposit

Before you submit your deposit, make sure that all the information is correct. If it is, use your bank’s mobile banking app to make the deposit.

#6. Receive Confirmation

After you have submitted your mobile check deposit, your bank will need to accept it. They will send you an email confirming your check was deposited.

However, before you destroy your physical check, look over your account to ensure the money has been deposited.

Is Mobile Check Deposit Safe?

Mobile Check deposits are secure and can even help you avoid fraud. If you keep your checks with you and quickly deposit them, it becomes tough for anyone to steal from you.

Also, online banks use encryptions in their mobile apps to further secure your account details and information.

However, if you want to avoid any possible fraud, try not to use public Wi-Fi. Instead, try finding a secure connection or use your phone’s data.

How Long Does It Take for a Mobile Check to Deposit?

Once you make your deposit, you may have to wait up to one business day to access the money.

However, there are some instances where your bank may allow you to access a portion on the day of the deposit, but usually, you will need to wait at least one business day.

How Large a Check Can You Mobile Deposit?

The size of the check varies on your bank. Your bank will have a maximum deposit limit that may limit you to a certain amount per day, week, or month.

You can check your deposit limit through the bank’s mobile app. Usually, the longer you are with a bank without issues, the higher the deposit limit.

Mobile Check Deposit Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Saves time
  • Easy to use
  • Safe and secure

Cons:

  • Requires mobile device
  • Limited deposits
  • Deposit delays

What Is Needed for a Mobile Deposit?

Mobile deposits require access to a smartphone with a digital camera. Many different apps provide mobile check deposit software, but you need to make sure your phone and bank are compatible with the app you use.

Most banks that offer digital banking today also provide an integrated mobile that includes mobile deposit functionality.

For example, if you bank with Bank of America or Chase, you can use their apps to make a mobile deposit without additional third-party software.

Can You Get Scammed through Mobile Deposit?

Mobile deposits are usually safe to do, as long as you follow the right precautions. You shouldn’t make mobile check deposits using public Wi-Fi because people may be able to access your information. To avoid this, use a secure network or your mobile device’s data.

What Types of Checks are Accepted with Mobile Deposit?

In general, most checks from American banks are accepted with mobile deposits. Mobile deposit technology has come a long way over the last few years, and most consumers do not have any issues depositing checks with their smartphones.

A few potential issues you may run into with mobile deposits could be checks from foreign banks.

Checks from domestic banks are fairly standardized. Most consumers either have personal checks or business checks around the same size.

Foreign banks may not use the same numeric identification system that follows a routing number followed by an account number.

So, if you have a large check from an international bank, you may want to consider making an in-person deposit at a branch bank to avoid any confusion or delay getting your funds.

If you are not sure if your bank will accept your check or not, there is usually a customer service or contact option on the app.

Tips for Mobile Check Deposits

Even though mobile check deposits are usually secure and easy, there are ways to ensure you have the best experience.

#1. Use a VPN

If you are trying to access your account away from your home, you can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

This is another step that can help keep your information secure and prevent anyone from trying to steal your account details.

#2. Rip Check-Up When Done

After your mobile check deposit clears, you should destroy your check to protect against fraud.

By ripping them up, nobody has a chance to steal your checks and take money out of your account.

You can also write “deposited” on the back of your check to prevent it from being used in the future, but it never hurts to destroy the check.

#3. Review Bank’s Mobile Deposit Policies

Certain banks have stipulations on how much you can deposit digitally daily. Limits can be $3,000 up to $100,000 depending on your account and how your bank operates.

Be sure to read the terms and conditions when you sign up for mobile check deposits, so you aren’t surprised by any limits or processing fees.

#4. Make Sure Photograph is Clear, and Signature is Legible

To avoid wasting any time, you should take clear photos of your checks so that your bank will accept them.

Mobile check deposits can already take up to one business day, so make sure to carefully take a photo so the bank won’t deny the deposit.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Endorse a Check for Mobile Deposit?

Before taking a picture and submitting your check, you need to endorse it properly. To do this, you need to sign the back of the check.

Also, if your check has a “mobile deposit” box, you should mark that. If not, write “for mobile deposit only” under your signature.

What Should You Do with a Check After Mobile Deposit?

After your mobile deposit, don’t touch your check until that deposit is in your account. This way, if your deposit isn’t accepted, you will still have the original check. However, once it has been accepted, you should discard the physical check.

There are different ways to do this, such as ripping it up or burning it. No matter which method you choose, destroying the physical check is a good way to prevent fraud.

Are There Any Fees with Mobile Deposit?

Although payments can change depending on the bank, you usually won’t charge any mobile deposits fees.

Bottom Line: Mobile Check Deposits

Mobile check deposits are a convenient way to make deposits while not having to leave your home.

This feature can save you a lot of time because you won’t need to visit the bank very often.

Simply download your bank’s mobile app and enjoy making digital deposits from the comfort of your own home.

Justin Estes
Justin Estes
Justin is an experienced personal finance writer, blogger, and author. His background in accounting and finance led to a passion for helping people make the most of their money and matching them with financial products that enhance their lifestyle. When he's not working, he enjoys hiking, playing guitar, and drinking coffee.