My bank USAA recently announced they would be updating their iPhone app to allow users to deposit checks by taking a picture of it and uploading to the USAA service. It so happens that I hit the sweet spot, not only must you have (obviously) an account and an iPhone but they currently only allow customers who have insurance through USAA to make iPhone deposits. I fit this profile so I decided to give it a shot. To make a long story short, it worked great, but here are some of the details:
- Once the USAA app is open, logging in with my name, password and pin turns out to be the most difficult step. Because I use a fairly long and ornate combination of numbers and letters (due to it being my financial information and all), I was stuck tapping back and forth between the iPhones number and letter keyboards.
- After that ordeal, I chose to deposit into my Savings Account (I could have also deposited into Checking). You can see here I deposited a whopping twelve cents. (Why do I have a pitiful 12 cent check lying around? The irony is that this was a credit from Sprint after I canceled my cell phone service.)
- Next I was asked to take a picture of the front of the check. This was the part I was most worried would fall apart, merely because I have a second gen iPhone therefore no autofocus. But I framed the check as best as possible. After taking the picture I was given the chance to redo or submit the image. I went ahead and submitted.
- Next I needed to take a picture of the back. They gave me instructions on how to sign the check including the standard practice of adding my account number.
- After submitting the photo of the back of the check I was given a thumbnail preview of my two images and asked to verify them. The thumbnails looked pretty dim to me, but I submitted anyway. As the images were uploading and going through whatever verification process they needed to on USAA’s side a message appeared asking me not to “navigate away from this page, answer calls, or allow your device to auto-lock”.
- The deposit was accepted! I was now 12 cents richer and ready to paint the town red on Sprint’s dime (literally). I also was reminded by USAA to immediately write VOID on the check and then either destroy or file the check away.
Conclusions: Depositing my check via iPhone rocked. USAA’s only branch is in Texas (I live in Massachusetts). They’ve apparently been on the forefront of remote depositing for few years, I usually use a “home deposit” service that requires a scanner, but using the iPhone is actually faster, more fun and will likely be my preferred method from now on. I don’t quite understand what’s happening on the backend, is there some sort of character recognition software involved or perhaps a real live “human” double-checking the numbers? Whatever the case, it makes my life easier, so I’m on board.