Mobile

What is Mobile Check Deposit and How Does it Work?_INSIGHT

With the rise of digital banking, customers can now complete many common banking services online or using a bank’s mobile app, including depositing checks.

Depositing a check from your mobile device eliminates the need to track down a brick-and-mortar branch for your financial institution and often allows you to access your funds as soon as the same or next day.

Here, CNBC Select reviews some of the top banks that offer mobile check deposits and how you can best take advantage of this feature.

Mobile check depositing allows a customer to save time and energy by depositing a check remotely on their smartphone through a bank’s mobile app. The customer can simply endorse their check, take photos of the front and back of the check, upload them to an app and digitally deposit the funds to the proper checking or savings account without having to drop off the check in person.

Several different types of checks can be deposited using mobile check deposit, including personal checks, business checks, cashier’s checks and even government checks like tax refunds, unemployment checks and stimulus checks. Some banks may not allow for mobile deposits on certain items, such as foreign checks, so make sure to review your bank’s policies beforehand.

Many banks now offer mobile check deposits, including big names such as:

Additionally, mobile check deposits are available through online-only banks like Ally and SoFi, as well as many credit unions.

Generally, there is no additional fee for using mobile check deposit services beyond any usual wireless carrier fees. Processing times vary by bank, but funds are generally available either the same day or the next business day.

For example, Bank of America offers mobile check deposits and generally processes funds to be available the next business day.

Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking®

  • Monthly maintenance fee

    $12, with options to waive

  • Minimum deposit to open

  • Minimum balance

    $1,500 daily balance to avoid monthly maintenance fee

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

  • Free ATM network

    16,900 Bank of America ATMs

  • ATM fee reimbursement

  • Overdraft fee

  • Mobile check deposit

See our methodology, terms apply. Bank of America is a Member FDIC.

With PNC mobile deposits, any funds submitted before 10 p.m. EST on a business day will be available to access the following day for no charge. However, those who want faster access to their funds can opt-in for PNC Express Funds in order to receive instant access to their money for an additional fee. The fee for PNC Express Funds is 2% of each check amount over $100, or a $2 dollar fee for any check amount from $25 to $100.

PNC Standard Savings Account

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

  • Minimum balance

    $1 to earn interest; $300 average monthly balance in this account to avoid service charges

  • Monthly fee

    Monthly Service Charge of $5, or $0 with options to waive

  • Free ATM network

    No ATM fees at PNC ATMs.[1]

  • ATM fee reimbursement

  • Overdraft fee

    Set up PNC Overdraft Protection to link your checking account with up to two other eligible PNC accounts. When there’s an insufficient available balance in your checking account to pay for any item, funds, if available, are transferred from the protecting account to cover your purchases.

  • Mobile check deposit

Ally offers easy, free and secure online check deposits through Ally eCheck℠ Deposit. Similar to other banks, Ally has a few restrictions such as the check must be dated within the last 180 days and you may deposit up to $50,000 in a single day and up to $250,000 every 30 calendar days. If you have been an Ally customer for more than 30 days, you’ll get more immediate access to your money which can be useful if you need to make swift payments.

Ally Bank Spending Account

  • Monthly maintenance fee

  • Minimum deposit to open

  • Minimum balance

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    0.10% less than $15,000 minimum daily balance; 0.25% over $15,000 minimum daily balance

  • Free ATM network

  • ATM fee reimbursement

    Up to $10 per statement cycle

  • Overdraft fee

  • Mobile check deposit

One of the biggest benefits of mobile banking, and particularly mobile check deposits, is the flexibility that it provides. You are no longer tied to a physical location for a key aspect of your financial needs, and many banks offer this service for no extra charge.

For those who need relatively quick access to their mobile check deposit funds, a lot of banks offer either same-day or next-day access. Just remember that while mobile deposits can be made any time of the day, after certain cutoff times, you may need to wait an extra business day for the funds to become available.

Online deposits are also great for keeping all of your checks archived online. Banks will store digital copies of the checks that you deposited on the app, and you can use this as a database instead of keeping old paper checks lying around.

Perhaps most importantly, mobile check deposits are as safe as any other online banking service. As long as you’re using the bank’s legitimate mobile app, the data you upload is protected by encryption, and check images aren’t stored on your device.

In addition to mobile check deposits, most mobile banking apps allow checking customers to send and receive money using Zelle®, and offer additional features, such as the ability to check your credit score.

To reduce the risk of fraud, banks generally impose limits on mobile check deposits. The policies vary by bank and account, but there can be restrictions on how much customers can deposit daily, weekly or monthly. For example, standard Chase Total Checking® customers are limited to $2,000 per day or $5,000 in any rolling 30-day period, but Chase Private Client Checking℠ customers can deposit $25,000 per day or $100,000 in any rolling 30-day period.

Checks being deposited digitally also need to be endorsed just as they do when being deposited in person. In addition, banks generally require you to write a note like “for mobile deposit only” below your signature.

After submitting a check, it’s important to hold on to the paper copy for a few days before discarding it. If a problem arises, you may need to attempt the mobile deposit again or take the paper check to a branch for deposit.

As with standard check deposits, mobile check deposits can bounce even after you receive confirmation. For example, the check can be returned if the images are illegible or because the check issuer has insufficient funds in their account. Unfortunately, banks generally also charge penalty fees for returned checks.

Keep in mind that mobile check deposits require an online connection to go through and will impact your data usage or any fees associated with your phone plan. Also, there’s no great way to deposit cash without going to a physical bank or ATM.

Mobile check depositing is an easy and safe way to deposit your money into your bank account without having to make the trek to a physical location. Most top banks offer this service to help save you time and energy while still meeting all of your financial needs. Just beware of any potential limits before making mobile deposits.

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At CNBC Select, our mission is to provide our readers with high-quality service journalism and comprehensive consumer advice so they can make informed decisions with their money. Every review is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of financial products. While CNBC Select earns a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links, we create all our content without input from our commercial team or any outside third parties, and we pride ourselves on our journalistic standards and ethics.

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.



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