PayPal's iPhone app now scans your checks

PayPal has updated its iPhone app to let users snap a photo of a check to have that amount transferred to their PayPal balance. The service is free, though it can take close to a week.

PayPal on iPhone
PayPal's check-cashing interface on the iPhone Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

There may be no jet packs yet, but we are very much living in the future. Proof enough of that is PayPal's latest addition to its iPhone app, which brings with it the capability to snap a photo of a check and have it be deposited to your PayPal account free of charge.

Sure, this is something that customers of Chase and USAA have been able to do with each company's respective iPhone applications for months now, but this is PayPal. Why is that important? It means if you've connected your PayPal account to another bank that does not offer such a feature, you can use PayPal as the go-between.

Of course PayPal has limits of how much you can transfer from your account each month, but you can have that lifted if you do things like confirm your Social Security number and debit card.

There are some other strings attached, including the fact that you must hang on to that check for 15 days after sending that information to PayPal, just in case it does not clear. PayPal also says that it takes "about six days" for the amount to show up in your PayPal balance, which is considerably slower than if you took it to the bank.

PayPal says the new feature is powered by Las Vegas-based BankServ (formerly NetDeposit). No word yet on if and when PayPal plans to bring this feature to its apps on other platforms like Android and BlackBerry.

 

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