If you can save yourself a physical trip to the bank, that sure seems like the smarter way to do your banking. And for the most part, you can do that nowadays. With online banking, you can check your balances, transfer your money between accounts, and pay all of your bills. You can even span the great divide between the real and digital world by taking advantage of banking apps on your iPhone that offer the photo check deposit feature.
It was once true that if you wanted to deposit a check in your account that you had to go see a teller at the bank. Then, it became easier by depositing through an ATM, but now you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your living room. Yes, more and more payments are going digital these days, but for those occasional printed checks that you still receive, depositing them by taking a picture on your iPhone just couldn’t be any easier.
The six largest banks in Canada are collectively known as the Big Six, but one of the smaller credit unions based out of the Vancouver area now holds the distinction as being the first bank in Canada to offer “photo chequing.” In effect, it means that you simply boot up the corresponding iPhone banking app, head over to the cheque deposit area, snap a photo of the cheque, and the money ends up in your chequing or savings account. And yes, it’s spelled “cheque,” because we’re talking about a Canadian bank.
You’ll still need to use one of the variety of expense tracker apps to keep your finances in order, but it’s great to see that many iPhone banking apps support the photo check deposit feature. One such app is the one that you’d get with the Chase Mobile app, as part of JP Morgan Chase & Company. All you have to do is snap photos of the front and back of the check and the transaction will go through as if you handed the physical check to a teller.
Capital One Mobile
Using this smartphone app, as you can imagine, lets you make mobile check deposits with a feature that Capital One refers to as CheckMate. You can deposit from anywhere by snapping a picture of the check, but even if you are confused, the app even comes with a how-to video to guide you through the process. This app can be used to handle your Capital One credit cards, Capital One bank accounts, and your Capital One 360 dealings. This includes scheduling payments, redeeming credit card rewards, paying bills, transfering funds, finding fee-free AllPoint ATMs, and even bumping money between phones.
State Farm Pocket Agent
Maybe it’s because I’m Canadian, but I’ve always thought of State Farm for their insurance offerings. Maybe it’s because those are the commercials that I see on TV, but State Farm also has banking solutions through the appropriately named State Farm bank. And when you use their iPhone app, you can do the photo check deposit thing by way of MyTime Deposit. From the app, you can also pay credit cards and transfer funds between accounts, but the Pocket Agent ties into the insurance aspect too to check on your claim status, contact you ragent and pay you insurance premium bills.
In the traditional sense, PayPal isn’t exactly a conventional bank, but we sure do a lot of online transactions through it. PayPal has become the smartest way to pay for your stuff on eBay and it’s a smart way to transfer money between people too. While sending and requesting money directly through PayPal makes the most sense here, the mobile app lets you snap a photo of a check to add money to your PayPal account for free too. The app also has a local feature that lets you find nearby merchants who use the PayPal Here service.
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