With USAA's updated iPhone, customers can take a picture of a check and deposit the funds directly to their bank accounts.
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
In the latest twist on electronic banking, customers of financial services firm USAA will now be able to deposit checks directly through their iPhones.
USAA on Tuesday updated its iPhone app to allow customers to deposit checks wirelessly. By taking a photo of both sides of the check using the iPhone's built-in camera, customers can send an image of a check directly to USAA where it can be verified and deposited.
The new USAA Deposit@Mobile feature expands on the bank's existing iPhone app, which debuted in May and has been downloaded almost 140,000 times, says USAA. The free mobile app already lets customers check their balances, transfer funds, and find ATMs.
The mobile check depositing is also the next step from USAA's Deposit@Home service, which lets customers scan and deposit checks using a PC and scanner.
"Our members are on-the-go and need to be able to manage their accounts at all times, from any location," Wayne Peacock, USAA's executive vice president of enterprise business operations, said in a statement. "Nearly 50 percent of our 1 million mobile users are active-duty military, who may be deployed anywhere. The convenience of mobile access is essential to delivering the highest possible level of customer service."
Spurred by the shift to 3G wireless technology, cell phone operators and financial institutions in recent months have introduced a number of services and applications geared toward mobile banking. Last September, for instance, Sprint Nextel introduced its MyMoneyManager app, which lets users wirelessly check bank balances and pay bills, while credit card provider Visa introduced several similar initiatives.
The video below from USAA shows how the check deposit feature works.
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