USAA iPhone Check Deposits
This is just awesome:
The Internet has taken a lot of the paperwork out of banking, but there is no avoiding paper when someone gives you a check. Now one bank wants to let customers deposit checks immediately — through their phones.
USAA, a privately held bank and insurance company, plans to update its iPhone application this week to introduce the check deposit feature, which requires a customer to photograph both sides of the check with the phone’s camera.
“We’re essentially taking an image of the check, and once you hit the send button, that image is going into our deposit-taking system as any other check would,” said Wayne Peacock, a USAA executive vice president.
Customers will not have to mail the check to the bank later; the deposit will be handled entirely electronically, and the bank suggests voiding the check and filing or discarding it. But to reduce the potential for fraud, only customers who are eligible for credit and have some type of insurance through USAA will be permitted to use the deposit feature. Mr. Peacock said that about 60 percent of the bank’s customers qualify.
It’s amazing that someone hasn’t implemented this before now, actually. Digital cameras have become so ubiquitous that most of us have them with our mobile phones. And it’s got to be cheaper for the bank than processing paper checks or dealing personally with customers.
I’ve been insuring my cars with USAA since 1988 and have had a bank account (for purposes of obtaining a credit card) since 1991. This might make it worth actually using them as my primary bank once it extends beyond iPhone users.