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credit & debt

Mobile Check Deposit: Give It a Shot

Mobile check deposit is catching on. In the past year, one in three Americans submitted a check to their bank account using a smartphone or other device.

If you have never tried mobile deposit, note that the process is usually fast and easy: Photograph the front and back of the check using the bank’s mobile app, and choose the account where you want the money to go. For security, photographs of checks that you take through your bank’s app are never stored on your device, says Michael Diamond, general manager of payments for Mitek, a maker of mobile-deposit software. To prevent a check from being deposited twice, write “deposited” on the back after you submit it.

Many banks cap the amount of money you may deposit. At Citibank, the limit is $500 daily for new customers and $1,000 daily after you’ve had the account for several months; the monthly limit is $3,000. Among 15 large banks, seven don’t allow a mobile deposit of $5,000 or more—typically because of monthly or per-check limits—according to a report from Mitek and consultant Futurion.

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Most large banks don’t charge fees for mobile deposit, but U.S. Bank charges 50 cents per check and Regions Bank charges from 50 cents to $5 or more. If you need to, say, cover a payment that’s due, find out when you must submit a check for it to be considered received the same day and how long you must wait until you can withdraw the deposited funds, recommends the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Many banks suggest that you keep the check in a safe place for two weeks or so, in case it doesn’t clear. (After that, shred it.) In the days after you deposit a check, monitor your account online or through the bank’s app to ensure that the funds have been credited.

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