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How long do mobile check deposits take?

How Long Does a Mobile Deposit Take To Go into Your Bank Account?

Are you sitting on pins and needles waiting for a mobile deposit to clear, wondering when your money will finally make its entrance? It can feel like watching paint dry, not knowing what’s what or when your funds will hit. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to mobile deposits.

Key Takeaways

  • Mobile deposits generally take about a business day to complete, but factors like the time of day, your bank's policy, and the amount of the deposit can affect how long it takes.
  • To make a mobile deposit, you take photos of the front and back of a check through your banking app. The bank then verifies the details and deposits the money into your account.
  • Banks verify mobile deposits manually, checking factors like the check issuer's standing, available funds, and the check amount to ensure its authenticity.

How Long Does a Mobile Deposit Take To Go into Your Account?

In general, it takes one business day to complete a mobile deposit. There are a couple of factors that may extend the transfer timeline:

  • Time of day you complete your deposit. If you deposit your funds after 8 pm, the bank may need an additional business day to complete your deposit.
  • Your bank’s policy. Every bank has different rules and processes, and that means some will take longer than others.
  • The amount of your deposit. In some cases, the size of the check will also have an effect; a bank is more likely to deposit a small check quickly, while a large check may require more boxes to be ticked, and could therefore take longer.

What Is a Mobile Deposit?

A mobile deposit is when you deposit a check into your bank account using a banking app. This is an alternative to driving to the bank and using the ATM or going into a teller, which can be time-consuming and frustrating. To make a mobile deposit, you will need a smartphone that is capable of taking pictures.

You will take a photograph of both the front and the back of the check, and then upload these to your banking app. This allows you to deposit the check remotely.

How Does Mobile Deposit Work?

A mobile deposit works by you uploading the check’s details to the banking app. These will then be read, verified by your bank, and the money will be deposited in your checking account.

  1. You start by downloading your bank’s mobile app, and logging in (customer serivce at the bank will be able to assist if you are struggling with this).
  2. Once you are in the app, you need to look for “mobile check deposit” or another similar phrase in the banking menu.
  3. When you’ve found it, it’s time to sign your check (as you would if you were depositing the check at your local banking branch).
  4. Choose which account you want the check to go into, and type in the amount of money that the check is for.
  5. Next, take a picture of the front of the check and the back of the check using your phone’s camera. Review all the details, make sure they are correct, and then hit “submit.” The bank will start processing the deposit.

Not all banks offer mobile check deposit options, but many do, especially today. If you aren’t sure whether your bank does or not, you can get in touch with them to ask or check out their app.

An easy mobile check deposit

What Are the Pros and Cons of Mobile Check Deposits?

There are both advantages and disadvantages to mobile check deposits, so let’s deal with the advantages first. The biggest pro is the convenience factor – instead of having to drive to your bank, find parking, and wait for a member of staff to be free to help you, you can just deposit a check from anywhere, using your phone.

If you’ve got an online-only bank, you may only have the option of online deposit or sending a check by mail – and mail could take a considerable amount of time, so mobile check deposit is a faster option.

It’s very easy to use in most cases, too; banks have aimed to make their mobile apps as user-friendly as possible, so you only need to be able to log in and take pictures – that’s all there is to it!

Furthermore, depositing checks digitally can be more secure than mailing them, and just as secure as visiting a branch in person.

Of course, there are some drawbacks too, and one of the big ones is that you can still have a deposit returned even after you’ve got confirmation of it. If the payee doesn’t have enough money to pay you, the deposit can be reversed, and you might even be charged.

Checks also have to be appropriately endorsed, which means you need to sign the check and write something like “for mobile deposit” on the back, or there’s a risk of it being rejected. You then have to wait to redeposit it, which increases the amount of time before you get the money. Without the guidance of a bank representative, it’s easier to make a mistake.

Another drawback is that you still need to keep the check, which means making sure you put it somewhere safe. Glitches happen with online systems fairly often, and you’ll need the check to make another attempt at depositing it if something goes wrong.

How To Endorse a Check with Mobile Deposit

Knowing how to endorse a check correctly is key to ensuring you have a smooth deposit process and that your check goes in as soon as possible.

To endorse a check, you need to sign your name in the endorsement area (which is usually above the signature line on the back of the check). Avoid writing anything else on this line.

Next, you need to make it clear that the check is intended to be deposited by mobile. Sometimes, a check will have a box you can tick, or at other times, you’ll need to write “for mobile deposit only” on the check.

If you’re not sure, you can contact your bank for further information about their rules. This will make sure you get everything right, and your check goes in as soon as possible.

Related: How to quickly cash a check

How Do Banks Verify a Mobile Deposit?

Banks verify mobile deposits by checking them over, often manually, with employees who have been specifically trained to spot problems and counterfeits. They will look at several different factors when they verify a check.

They’ll consider things like the standing of the check issuer, and what funds are available in the account. They’ll also assess the amount of money that the check is for, and large checks get closer inspections.

How Many Days Does a Mobile Deposit Take To Clear?

This depends on the check, your bank, and often just the individual circumstances. Sometimes, a check will clear very quickly, but at other times, it will take longer. It can take several business days for a check to clear.

Some banks will allow you to access a portion of the money from the check very quickly, within a few minutes or the following day, even if they are still verifying the check. However, the full clearance could take much longer.

You should remember to account for weekends when considering how long a check is likely to take to clear; banks will generally only process them during working days.

Can All Checks Be Deposited by Mobile Deposit?

Although most checks can be deposited via mobile deposit, some cannot. Certain international checks may not qualify, and some cash equivalents, such as savings bonds or money orders may be ineligible too.

On the whole, your bank is likely to accept most checks, but you can reach out to them for more information if you’re not sure.

Is There a Limit on Mobile Deposits?

Yes, most banks do have limits on mobile deposits — usually the limits are on how much you can deposit per month. It's like a guardrail to keep things in check.

These limits can vary, but they're typically based on factors like your account history, relationship with the bank, and the type of account you have. They're kind of like speed limits—you can't go over them, but you can usually go up to a certain point. It's always a good idea to check with your bank to see what their specific limits are.

Is a Mobile Deposit Safe?

Yes, mobile deposits are considered secure, just as other digital payment options are considered secure. You will be using your bank’s dedicated app to keep your information safe.

You should always make sure you are using the correct app, checking that it is legitimate before you enter any personal information into it. This will minimize the risk of any problems arising.

Can You Deposit a Check on Your Laptop?

This is often less straightforward, but it is possible to deposit a check on your laptop, yes. You will need access to a secure scanner.

Log in to your online banking system, endorse the check as described above, select the scanner, enter the deposit amount, and scan the check. You will need to scan the front of the check first, and then scan the back.

When you’ve finished, check all the information is correct, and submit it.

What Factor Might Cause Mobile Deposit Delays?

A few different things can cause mobile deposit delays, including failure to endorse the check before you deposit it. Failing to get the signature from both payees (if multiple payees are listed) will cause a delay too because the check will not be eligible for deposit.

Using blurry images will also cause problems with getting the check verified; make sure you take the pictures with a steady hand, and re-take them if they aren’t clear. You should also thoroughly double-check all the information, so there’s no discrepancy between things like the manually-entered check amount and the amount on the paper. Any mismatch could cause a delay.

Mobile deposits are a convenient, secure way for individuals to put checks into their accounts without having to visit their branches in person. However, be aware that it can take a little while for checks to clear, and you may have to wait a few days for the money to become available to you.

Related Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you still have questions on mobile check deposits, here are some additional questions and answers.

Are Mobile Check Deposits Available Immediately?

No; checks deposited by mobile are not usually available straight away. They can take between a few minutes and several working days to clear.

Why Is My Mobile Deposit Taking So Long?

If your mobile deposit seems to be taking a long time, consider checking in with your bank. It’s important to always double-check all your check details are correct before you deposit it, as this will help avoid delays.

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