The Ins and Outs of Online Check Deposits

Adult man taking a photo of a check on his banking app

This blog was originally published in 2019, and it was updated in 2023.

Your smartphone camera does more than take selfies. It can also be used to snap pictures of paper checks for mobile deposit, a way of banking that’s growing in popularity.

According to a Federal Reserve survey, 51 percent of U.S. banking consumers have made deposits with their smartphones, which is only likely to grow alongside the technology and safety of mobile banking.

If you’ve never deposited a check using your smartphone, see how simple, safe and convenient it can be. Read on to learn more about mobile check deposits.

When Can I Access Funds Deposited From Mobile Checking?

Though taking a snapshot of your check might suggest immediate access, using the mobile deposit method does not guarantee your money for instant use.

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and its Expedited Funds Availability Act, only the first $225 of a mobile deposit must be made available on the next business day. Any amount above the $225 threshold is typically available within two business days. Some financial institutions offer same-day deposits, but others may take longer to deposit the total amount of a check or checks into your account.

It might seem inconvenient, but the time between deposit and access is for the best. While federal-issued checks and wire transfers can get into your account more quickly, personal check deposits require a thorough quality check by your financial institution to help protect you against fraud.

Check the terms of your financial institution for a better idea of the timeline you can expect. Using money not yet in your account due to deposit complications will likely mean paying fees and additional costs.

At Minster Bank, the process is simple. When you deposit a mobile check before 5 p.m., the funds are normally available in two business days.

Related: Save Time and Energy With Mobile Check Deposits >>

Mobile Deposit Requires An Extra Endorsement

To better ensure mobile deposit safety, the Federal Reserve established a new endorsement requirement on July 1, 2018. According to the FRB, any check to be deposited via mobile device must have the phrase “for mobile deposit only” written beneath the signature line on the back of the check.

Click here for an example of how to endorse your check for mobile deposit.

The objective is to minimize fraud and the prevalence of accidental double depositing, protecting you and the financial institution in the process. 

Some financial institutions may require you to add “at (institution name)” or “for (institution name) mobile deposit only,” so it’s best to check the terms and requirements of your mobile deposit program first.

Mobile Deposit Tip: Endorse your check using a blue or black ink pen.

Hang on to the Mobile-Deposited Check Before Trashing

After you make the deposit, keep the paper check handy for two weeks in case there are problems with your transaction. Inscribe the date and “mobile deposit” on the check so that you don’t make the mistake of attempting to deposit it twice, which can lead to you having to pay a fee.

When two weeks have passed, shred the paper check to protect your private information. If you want to hold onto it longer, keep it somewhere secure, like a fireproof safe or lockbox.

Get Started Using Mobile Check Deposits

Mobile check deposit means never running to the ATM to put money in your account again, which is a great convenience. Knowing how to use the system and process safely and correctly ensures fewer headaches and less hassle.

To get started, enroll in online banking and then download the Minster Bank Mobile App on the App Store or Google Play. From there, just log in and follow the steps for making a deposit.

We’ve also put together a demo video and mapped out each step for you — just click the link below to get started using mobile check deposits.

Get Started With Mobile Deposits >>


Published by Minster Bank

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