Once upon a time, the idea of “making a deposit” might’ve meant adding some coin to a pot of gold you hid in a cave. Fast forward to the modern era and … you still had to take your paper check to your nearest bank branch or ATM. Fortunately, banking is always evolving. These days you can deposit a check from the comfort of your living room in just a few minutes, thanks to the mobile deposit feature in your bank’s mobile app.
How to conduct a mobile check deposit
Depositing a check to your account using mobile check deposit is a typically straightforward process. Here are the general steps, though specifics may vary based on the app you’re using and the financial institution you bank with:
- Log in: You’ll start by opening your bank’s mobile banking app and entering the same credentials you use to log in to your bank account via the bank’s website.
- If you don’t have an online account yet, you’ll need to set that up first. This can usually be done via your bank’s official website, or you can stop in at a local branch for in-person assistance.
- If you haven’t set up your mobile app yet, you can typically find a secure download link on your bank or financial institute’s website. This helps you avoid the mistake of downloading potentially fraudulent apps.
- Find the mobile deposit section: Once logged in, there will typically be an option on your home screen labeled “Mobile deposit,” “Deposit checks” or something similar. Select this option.
- Enter deposit details: Your app will then normally ask for details such as the amount to be deposited, as well as prompt you to take photos of the front and back of the check. It helps to read and follow any instructions you receive closely, as your financial institution may have specific requirements for how they’d like you to prepare the check for mobile deposit.
- Take a photo of the front of the check: Generally, you’ll now be prompted to take a photo of the front of your check. Placing the check against a dark, solid background may help provide a higher-quality photo.
- Take a picture of the back of the check: Next, you’ll be asked to take a photo of the back of the check where you’ll find the endorsement section. Following the prompt, you’ll want to endorse the check before photographing it for deposit (see below for more).
- Submit and complete: Once you’ve taken and submitted the photos of the front and back of the check following the instructions provided, you’ll be prompted to confirm and complete the transaction. If everything was done according to your bank’s instructions, the funds may be available to you the same day or the next business day, depending on the bank’s policies and time of deposit.
How to endorse a check for mobile deposit
Endorsing a check is a security measure that helps the bank verify you as the rightful recipient for the money. It additionally serves as your authorization to them that they should process the transaction.
Most checks have a box marked “endorse here” or something similar, as well as an indication not to write below a certain point. It’s best to limit your endorsement to the dedicated box at the top. You’ll typically need your signature, your mobile app may provide you with instructions such as adding “For mobile deposit only.” Following these specific instructions carefully can help to process your check correctly.
What else to know about mobile deposits
Although you now know the basics of how to conduct a mobile deposit, you may still have a few additional questions. If you'd like more information, you can always inquire in person at your nearest bank branch:
Can all checks be deposited via mobile deposit?
While many checks can be deposited with your phone, there are a few exceptions. Most personal, business and government checks are eligible, but other cash equivalents like money orders or savings bonds may not be. International checks may not always qualify either.
Is there a limit on mobile deposits?
Most financial institutions have some form of limits on daily, weekly or monthly deposits. Checks exceeding this limit may need to be deposited in person. It’s best to check your institution’s limits before attempting a mobile deposit on a large check.
How long does a mobile deposit take?
Mobile deposits can take varying amounts of time to clear, depending on several factors including each party’s financial institution, account histories and account types. Funds are usually available shortly after deposit but may sometimes take several business days to clear.
Is a mobile deposit safe?
Mobile deposits are considered as safe and secure as any other bank-approved method of depositing a check. The Chase Mobile® app, for instance, never stores passwords or image data on your device when using Chase QuickDeposit℠. Additionally, mobile deposits to FDIC-insured accounts are protected the same as any other deposit.
What to do with a check after mobile deposit
Just as with a traditional deposit, there’s always a possibility that a check may bounce. To ensure the funds are transferred correctly, it’s wise to hang onto your checks until the deposit has cleared. This way, you have the check on hand in case anything goes wrong during that time.
Mobile deposit is just one of the ways in which banking is always evolving. Using your bank’s mobile app and your phone’s camera, you can deposit a check to your account quickly, any time you want. Whether you’re busy juggling life, on the go to your next gig or just sitting on your couch in your PJs, mobile deposit helps you get paid on your own terms.