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Image Check Deposits - Deposit Checks From Home

Feb 19, 2008
Hands up "who loves going to the bank"? No hands, not a big surprise. Well banks seem to be getting the message with their latest innovation: digital image check deposit. Digital deposit allows business and consumer clients to make check deposits digitally from their own office or home by using a scanner and an Internet connection. No more bank line ups or even trips to the ATM machine. Your computer is now able to process check deposits just like a bank branch.

How Did Image Check Deposits Come Become Possible?

Four years ago the US government passed legislation that allowed banks to bypass physical processing, in favor of images of checks. The bill was designed to make check processing much more efficient as it would eliminate the need to courier or ship physical copies of checks from bank to bank. Now an image a check was considered just as valid or legal as the actual check itself.

Companies like CheckFree quickly recognized the opportunity to extend this new legislation to the benefit of the consumer so they began developing solutions that would enable banks to offer remote check image scanning on a wide scale.

How Remote Deposit Capture Works

From the end user's point of view, the process of depositing a check image is very simple. All that is required is an Internet connection, a basic computer and a simple scanning device like the kind found on any modern "all in one" printer.

1. You or your small business receives payment via check.

2. Simply scan the check as an image and save it to your hard drive.

3. Log in to your bank's secure Internet access portal.

4. Visit the page on your bank's site for digital check deposit.

5. Enter the basic information about your check: routing number, amount and date.

6. Upload the images of the front and back of your check with a few clicks.

7. Verify and submit image check for deposit.

8. Your bank then completes the process electronically or in cases where the check is not compatible with electronic clearing systems, the check is reprinted onto paper and cleared the old fashioned way.

It's really that simple. For trusted clients, some banks will instantly credit the funds to their account. For others there may be a small delay, but certainly no longer than an "in person" check deposit.

Why Use Digital Deposit?

Safety - there is no risk of losing the check or having it stolen in transit to the bank.

Speed - banks will complete check clearing faster when presented with digital image checks.

Time - you save time by no longer having to drive to the bank or wait in line.

Freedom - another reason not to visit a bank. Also, if you move, living in the same city as your bank is no longer a limitation.

Are There Any Pitfalls?

Security - just like any other bank transactions, this will attract attention from potential fraudsters, which will probably deter some people from using check images.

Digital image check deposit or remote deposit capture represents a major innovation in the banking industry and passes along a huge set of benefits to the consumer. Currently only about 20% of banks are offering this service, but recent surveys suggest that almost 90% of business clients (and probably almost as many personal clients) said they would use it when it comes available. If you deposit checks on a regular basis it is worth inquiring if your bank is offering this innovative check cashing feature, and if not letting them know that you would appreciate it being available.
About the Author
William A. Gordon writes about image checks and other banking issues and news. Visit his check site for examples of hundreds of check styles including designer checks and NASCAR checks.
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