by Maja Majewski

How does mobile deposit work?

Mobile deposit—or Photo Check Deposit at Simple—is a way to deposit a check with your smartphone just by snapping a few images of it. Here’s everything you need to know about how mobile deposit works!
Mobile Deposit

Let’s be real: These days, you probably use payment apps like Venmo or PayPal more than paper checks. But mobile deposit comes in handy whenever you do have personal checks or money orders you need to deposit.

One of the many benefits of online banking is that it allows you to access banking services from literally anywhere. According to research by Statista, 75% of Americans using mobile banking services access them from their couch, while 47% manage their bank account from their bed.

It takes just a few minutes at most to snap a picture of the front and back of your check and send it in—way less time than it would take you to walk, drive, or ride to a bank!

How mobile deposit works in Simple

On your end, the process is pretty simple: You just enter the amount written on the check, take photos of the front and back, and submit the transaction. No need to get out of your PJs to make it happen!

Tips for successful mobile deposit

Smartphones make excellent scanners, but they’re not quite as good at capturing checks as the specialized scanners that banks use. (We think it’s a fair trade off, though, given their versatility and portability.)

This means the photo of the check needs to be as clear and sharp as possible. If it’s just a little bit dark, fuzzy, or hard to read, we might not be able to correctly scan the information on the check.

TIP: When you’re depositing a check, take the photo in clear, strong light on a contrasting, low-glare background.

Sometimes the check itself makes it hard to get an adequate image. This is rare, but if a check is formatted unusually or the routing or account numbers are obscured, it might not be a candidate for Photo Check Deposit and we’ll ask you to mail it in.

When will my funds be available?

In general, if an image of an item you submit through Simple’s Mobile Check Deposit service is received and accepted on a business day before 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT), we consider that day to be the day of your deposit. Otherwise, we will consider that the deposit was made on the next business day.

If you’ve had an account with us for over 30 days and your check is approved, you can generally expect to see your funds in your account the next business day (although additional holds may apply). Check this page for more detailed information about mobile check deposit limits and funds availability.

A note about deposit limits (for larger checks).

Cashing in a larger check? (Yay!) If it’s over a certain amount, you’ll need to deposit it by mail. Your individual Photo Check Deposit limit can vary based on a few factors (like how long you’ve been with Simple, or how many checks you’ve deposited recently).

To find out your current limit:

  1. Check the mobile app. From the Move Money tab, tap Deposit a check to show your current limit.
  2. Talk to us! We’ll let you know your current limit.

Troubleshooting: What to do if mobile deposit isn’t working

Make sure the check is endorsed and signed properly

If you’re submitting a deposit through the mobile app, you’ll automatically be prompted to sign the back and write your Simple account number below your signature. You’ll also need to write “for mobile deposit only, Simple”. If you’re having trouble depositing a check, verify that your check is endorsed and signed properly.

Make sure it’s an acceptable check type

Although checks deposited by mobile are processed exactly like normal checks, there’s more risk if the checks are returned later. That’s why most financial institutions, including Simple, aren’t able to accept certain types of checks via Photo Check Deposit. If your mobile deposit isn’t working, check to make sure your check isn’t one of the types of checks we can’t process.

Request a payment instead

If you ever find yourself with a check you’re unable to deposit, see if the person who gave it to you would be willing to use a payment app like PayPal or Venmo to pay you instead.

Ready to give it a shot?

Hopefully, all this inside knowledge will give you a little extra appreciation and insight the next time you use Photo Check Deposit. If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a whirl! You can find step-by-step directions (and lots and lots of other details) in our support article.

Interested in getting started with Simple? Apply now!

Disclaimer: Hey! Welcome to our disclaimer. Here’s what you need to know to safely consume this blog post: Any outbound links in this post will take you away from, to external sites in the wilds of the internet; neither Simple nor our partner banks, BBVA Compass, endorse any linked-to websites; and we didn’t pay/barter with/bribe anyone to appear in this post. And as much as we wish we could control the cost of things, any prices in this article are just estimates. Actual prices are up to retailers, manufacturers, and other people who’ve been granted magical powers over digits and dollar signs.

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