USAA, a small and privately held bank and insurance company with a single branch in San Antonio, TX, already has an iPhone app to aid its customers in managing their accounts. Now, the app is scheduled for an upgrade that will allow you to deposit checks from anywhere, using your iPhone.
Using the iPhone's built-in camera, you take a picture of both the front and back of the bank. That's enough to put the check into the bank's routing system. (The bank does recommend voiding or destroying the check once it's been cyber-deposited.)
Now, before you whip out that handset and start photographing checks willy-nilly, there ARE some fine-print gotchas in place to prevent fraud: only customers who are eligible for credit and have some type of
insurance through USAA will be permitted to use the deposit feature. (According to bank officials, that covers about 60% of its customers.)
"Direct deposit" doesn't get much more direct than this.
We talked about it in our notable app list.
[Via the New York Times]