While checks are nowhere near as common as they once were, many people still use them today. If you have recently received a check and are wondering what the best way to deposit it is, we break it all down below.
Depositing a check used to involve going to the bank and doing it in person, which isn't the most convenient method in the age of online banking. Rather than this time-consuming and inconvenient method, you can now deposit your checks online instead — all from the comfort of your home. All you need is a smartphone and a bank account that allows you to deposit checks online.
What is a mobile check deposit?
A mobile check deposit is a way to avoid traveling to the bank and waiting in line to deposit a check. Many banks now offer this feature via online banking or their mobile apps to help customers deposit checks.
Depositing a check online usually involves taking a picture of your check and following the instructions provided by your banking app.
How to deposit a check online
To deposit a check through mobile banking, you will need to follow these steps:
1. Confirm your bank offers mobile check deposits
Step one is to check whether this is a feature that your current bank offers. While many of the big banks now offer mobile check deposits, it's not always guaranteed.
2. Endorse your checks
Once your app is ready to go, the next step to take is to endorse the check. This means you will need to sign the check on the back. If you don't endorse your check according to your bank's requirements, this could cause delays.
Be sure to check the requirements for endorsing a check with your bank, as many banks have slightly different rules.
3. Enter the details on your check
In your app, you will need to enter details about the check you want to deposit. Depending on how your bank and app work, you may need to enter these details manually, including the amount on the check or the account name you wish to deposit it into.
4. Take a photograph of your check
You may need to take a photograph of the check to verify it. When your banking app prompts you to take a photo, you may need to manually give permission for the app to use your camera.
Make sure you get a clear photo of the whole check and that it's taken in a well-lit area. Position the camera over the check and follow the guidelines for taking a photo. With Netspend, you will need to use the rectangle on the screen to help you position the check so that it's fully within that shape.
Before you submit your photograph, double-check that it's clear and you can read everything on it with ease. If not, it's best to retake the photo until you're happy with it. An unclear photo that's blurry or taken in poor lighting may lead to delays later down the line.
5. Check the details and complete the deposit
Next, you will need to review the details you have submitted to double-check that everything is accurate. Confirm that the name, check amount, and the account you wish to deposit it into are all correct before confirming. Any mistakes in your submitted details could cause the check to bounce, which will delay how long it takes to deposit your check.
6. Wait for confirmation
Depending on your bank, the last thing is to wait for confirmation that your check has been deposited successfully. This may occur through the app, via email, or via text. How long this takes depends on your bank.
How long does it take to deposit a check online?
Typically, you will need to wait at least a day or more. Some banks may charge a fee for you to access the funds immediately. You may also have to wait a little longer if the check amount is particularly large.
To ensure your check clears as quickly as possible, follow all of the steps above and make sure you double-check all the details on your check before you confirm the deposit. Any issues that can cause the check to bounce, such as misspelled names or simple typos, can lead to further delays as the bank will want to confirm that the check is genuine.
Before you throw your physical check away, keep it until it clears, just in case it bounces or if there's a problem. Once it clears, consider writing "void" or "deposited by mobile" on the check.
Is there a limit on mobile check deposits?
Due to the increased risk of check fraud, many banks have limits on the amount you can deposit online. Each bank sets its own limits, so you will have to check restrictions individually.
Some of the most well-known banks in the U.S. have limits varying between $500 to $2,500 a day or $2,500 to $25,000 a month. These limits depend on the type of account you hold and how long you have had it open.
Is it safe to deposit a check online?
One concern people have about mobile check deposits is security. Is it really safe to load funds through an app?
The good news is that banking apps today are protected by the latest security measures and encryption that you trust to manage your money online. As depositing a check online usually involves the same app you use to manage your transactions and accounts, it's just as safe as that is.
That's not to say there are no threats. There are threats from scammers to be aware of whenever you use mobile banking, so the best way to avoid security issues when depositing a check online is to be vigilant of any suspicious activity.
If you receive any emails, texts, or phone calls about depositing a check or downloading a separate app to deposit them, be wary and contact your bank separately if you suspect a scam. It always pays to be extra careful when your finances are concerned.
Some other things you can do to protect yourself include:
Good password practice — Avoid using passwords that can be easily guessed (including your name, birth dates, or pet names) for your online banking logins.
Use multi-factor authentication to log in — While a little extra time-consuming, multi-factor authentication can help to keep your accounts safe by adding that extra layer of protection whenever you log in.
Avoid using public Wi-Fi — When using your banking app or doing anything related to your money, avoid using public Wi-Fi to reduce the risk of hacking. You could go one step further and use a virtual private network (VPN) to protect your accounts when you are accessing banking information on the move.
Use biometric ID — Many banks now let you log in with a fingerprint, which offers an extra layer of protection alongside PINs and passwords.
How to load a check1 online with Netspend
Netspend lets you your check online with just a few taps on a smartphone.
To load a check online with Netspend, all you need to do is:
Download2 the latest version of the Netspend Mobile App
Select "Mobile Check Load" from the menu1
Follow the instructions to take a photo of your check
In some cases, you may be able to access your money immediately. However, extra charges may apply.
Soon, your Card Account will have the funds available for you to spend without you having to visit a bank branch and wait in line!
2. Netspend does not charge for this service, but your wireless carrier may charge for messages or data.