ING Direct now accepting deposits through smartphones


One of the nation’s largest online banks is now accepting check deposits through your smartphone, giving you on more reason to kick the traditional big banks out of your life.

I love to talk about all kind of ways that you can save money by avoiding the giant monster mega-banks. One of the ways I like of doing that is by using online banks to avoid the big banks. But for many people, that’s been a bridge too far. How do you deposit your money?

I do the bulk of my banking with Charles Schwab, the discount stockbroker, and I’ve been doing online deposits for more than a year with them. I have a Schwab app on my smartphone, and I just take a picture of a check front and back, key it in with my account info and then transmit it. It works 100% of the time after some initial bugs were ironed out.

USAA has done accept digital deposits for a good long while. They’re an entirely branchless bank, so they only take deposits through the phone. (Schwab, on the other hand, gives you the option to go into a branch, particularly in major cities where they’re clustered.)

Now ING Direct is taking digital deposits too. Before, you used to have to make a deposit with your regular bank, link your ING account up and then transfer the money over. It was a pain. But now, you can take a picture of the check and zap it right into your account.

Traditional banks have been slow in offering online deposits. That’s because they assume it will lead to tremendous fraud and so rollout has been slow. But as more and more online banks offer it, consider kicking your traditional big bank to the curb.

Editor’s note: This segment originally aired June 1, 2012.

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