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Online deposits : How to deposit a check online/without an ATM

I love my Schwab account. The only reason I stayed with Bank of America till now is because I wanted a way to deposit my checks without mailing them. I already get ATM fee reimbursement, no foreign exchange, free checks and a small interest for my Schwab investor checking account. I was really waiting for Schwab to bring online deposits to ditch BoA and they did that recently. A number of banks have added the online deposits feature making Brick & Mortar banks an uncommon place. If you are looking for a bank that lets you deposit a check online (this is also called as remote deposit), I have compiled this list. In fact even if your bank doesn’t have this feature yet, you can still deposit a check online without an ATM. No more trips to the bank and waiting in line for the ATM or the teller. Basically one less thing in my to-do list…

Quick Introduction on how online deposits work

Instead of taking your check to the bank, you either use your computer or your phone to send the check image to your bank. You can scan the image using a scanner or take a photo and upload it via your computer or you can use a smart phone app to transmit the check image to your bank. Using the image of the check in the place of an actual check was made possible by the Check 21 act. From Wikipedia –  The check 21 act allows the recipient of the original  paper check to create a digital version thereby eliminating the need for further handling of the physical document.

Which banks offers online deposits?


Bank Desktop/Photo upload/Scanner iPhone Android
Alliant CU eDeposit Plus X (but you still have to send the check in)
Ally Bank X
America First Credit Union X
Boeing Employees CU X
Chase Quick deposit X X
Citizens Bank Remote Capture X
Digital Federal CU (DCU) : PC/Mobile deposit X X X
Everbank online check deposits X
First Command Bank Deposits on Demand X
First Internet Bank iScan X
Meadows CU expressTeller X
Mercantile Bank of Michigan Merc@Home X X X
NASA Federal Credit Union X X X
PenFed CU online deposit anywhere X
Pennsylvania State Employees CU Online deposits UPost @ Home X
Public Employees Credit Union X
PNC Bank Virtual Wallet X
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union X
Charles Schwab eDeposit X X
Star One Credit Union X
State farm bank : MyTime deposit X X X
Summit Bank X
Texas Security Bank X
Torrance Community CU X X X
Texas Security bank X
USAA : deposit @ Home X
WV United Credit Union X


Some things I want to highlight :

  • Most of the banks that offer the convenience of depositing the check via home computer, iPhone or an android are credit unions. Credit Unions have some of the lowest fees too. If you are shopping for a new bank, consider your local credit union.
  • DCU, other than providing all means of remote deposits, it also provides free FICO credit score to its customers.
  • I also have to give a shout out for my bank – Charles Schwab. I really like them and they are great with fees too – free checking, free bill pay, free unlimited checks, no ATM fees, online deposits and no foreign transaction fee.

[I am not paid to write any of the above, these are genuinely my opinion]

How to deposit a check online if your bank doesn’t offer this feature?

You can do this using paypal. It is a round about way to depositing a check but if you don’t want to change banks for the online deposits feature but also hate going to the bank this could be an option. Please note that it will take a week for you to actually get the money using this method.

Sign up for a paypal account. A personal account would do and link your bank account. To actually deposit a check online to paypal, here are the steps.

Step 1: Download and install the Paypal app. It is available for both Android and iPhone. And yes, it is free.

(I have instructions for the Android app, it looks like the iPhone method is very similar)

Step 2: Login to paypal and select the “Tools” on the bottom right.

 deposit check online 1

Step 3 : Select “Add money from checks”

deposit check online 2

Step 4 : Read and agree to whatever they are asking you to agree :)

deposit check online 3

Step 5 : Now you will be in the adding checks feature. You will be asked if you want to take a tour of this feature. You can try that or proceed to add checks.

deposit check online 4

Step 5a : At any point you have a doubt on how to proceed, click on the question mark at the top right of the add checks screen, it will take you to the help page.

deposit check online 5

Step 6 : Take a picture of both the front and the back. It will confirm the successful upload. It will also notify you that the check it processing, it will take up to 6 business days for the funds to be available and to keep the physical check for 15 days.

Step 7 : Now you can either use the app or the online paypal.com to transfer the money to your linked account.

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