What Is Mobile Check Deposit? A Complete Guide on How It Works

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Everything today can be done on the go, and your banking needs are no exception. Though direct deposit is the more popular option for a majority of the checks you receive, sometimes you still need to deposit a physical check to your bank. Luckily, there is an option to do so without having to leave your home.

What Is Mobile Check Deposit?

With mobile check deposit, can simply deposit your check into your bank account just by using the camera on your mobile device — you no longer have to go to your bank or find an ATM to deposit a physical check.

Mobile check deposit works for many types of checks, including:

  • Business checks
  • Cashier checks
  • Government-issued checks
  • Personal checks
  • Stimulus checks

How Mobile Check Depositing Works

The way mobile check depositing works is by using advanced remote deposit capture technology through your preferred banking app. This generally involves taking one photo of the front of the check and one photo of the back of the check — after you’ve endorsed it — to scan in your check for deposit into your account.

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To get started, make sure you have downloaded your bank’s mobile app and are logged in to your account.

How To Use Mobile Check Deposit

Here is a step-by-step guide through a typical mobile check deposit transaction:

  1. Endorse the back of your check as you would for any deposit.
  2. Open your banking app on your mobile device and log in.
  3. Click on the check deposit option in the menu.
  4. Choose the account into which you want to deposit the check.
  5. Enter the check amount where prompted.
  6. Take one photo of the front of the check.
  7. Take one photo of the back of the endorsed check.
  8. Review and make sure the deposit details are correct.
  9. Hit submit to process your deposit.

How Long Do Mobile Check Deposits Take?

On average, mobile check deposits will be deposited into your account within two business days. The timeline can depend on what bank you are using and the amount you are depositing.

Partial funds might be accessible before the full amount — most banks will allow you to access around $200 of the check amount the next business day after you deposit. For example, if you deposit a check on your mobile device worth $1,000, you would be able to access $200 of it the next business day, and the remaining $800 would be available to you within two business days after your original mobile deposit.

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Though the full amount for most checks will be available to you within two business days, there are sometimes delays for the following reasons:

  • The check you are depositing is for a significant amount.
  • The bank is under the impression that the check will not be paid. 
  • There is a history in your account of unpaid deposited checks.
  • Your account shows frequent overdrafts.

Mobile Check Deposit: Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Can deposit checks from anywhere Still need to hold on to physical checks until deposits go through
Same level of security as depositing a check in a branch Dependent on Wi-Fi
User-friendly and convenient Checks must be endorsed

What Banks Have Mobile Check Deposit?

Though most banks offer some form of a mobile check deposit service, if you aren’t sure your bank has this option, you can contact it through customer service on its website or call your local branch. Most major banks and financial institutions have a mobile app with a mobile check depositing feature so this option is most likely available to you.

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Here are some examples of top banks with this feature:

Final Take: Mobile Check Deposit

Mobile check deposit is convenient, but it is also good to know it is safe. When depositing through your banking app, you are essentially protected by the same level of security as you have when depositing a check at a brick-and-mortar branch — though that security is on the bank’s end, so you should still practice internet safety.

Be sure to take note of any exclusions your bank might have, and always keep the paper check until the deposit has gone through.

FAQ

  • Do mobile checks deposit instantly?
    • No – typically, most banks take two business days to fully deposit your check into your account. However, they tend to provide $200 of the check amount the next business day, so you would have access to that amount sooner.
  • How does a mobile check deposit work?
    • Mobile check deposit works by using the camera on your mobile phone or another mobile device to scan the check to your account for deposit.
  • What app can you use to mobile deposit a check?
    • You can mobile deposit a check on most banking apps. If you aren't sure the bank you use has this option you can contact them. A majority of major banks and financial institutions should have the option for mobile check deposit.

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About the Author

Caitlyn Moorhead has written content for a variety of businesses and publications. After graduating from Central Michigan University cum laude, she moved to New York City where she wrote columns, articles and plays for several years before relocating to Austin, Texas in the fall of 2020.
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