‘Remote capture deposits’ a useful tool

Published 2:44 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2011

By WAYNE CURTIS / Guest Columnist

For one reason or another, you may not feel like going to the bank to deposit your checks. But depositing through the mail causes too much of a delay in getting funds into your accounts. And this is crucial when you need the funds to pay your bills.

Fortunately, there is another option that is becoming increasingly more common among banks.

It is a relatively new process that allows you to deposit paper checks into your bank from a remote location — such as your home or place of business — over the Internet.

This is known as “remote capture deposit.” With remote capture deposit, you can scan an image of a check, send the image to your bank, and see the funds added to your account.

To make this kind of deposit, you will need a scanner to capture the image of the check and a personal computer to transmit the image.

Alternatively, a smart phone equipped with digital camera can be used.

Considered one of the most important developments in banking in recent years, remote capture was originally designed for small businesses that received payment by checks and wanted to deposit them quickly.

But consumers who receive a large number of checks — or do not live close to their bank — can also take advantage of this service as well.

The major advantage of remote capture is the speed with which it allows businesses and consumers to have access to their funds. Checks deposited over the Internet are generally available in one to two business days as opposed to five business days for regular paper deposits.

Remote capture also saves time and money for businesses by not requiring them to use an employee or a courier service to take checks to their banks for deposit.

In addition, it reduces the chances of making mistakes or losing checks in the process of depositing them.

Wayne Curtis, Ph.D., is on the board of directors of First United Security Bank.  He may be contacted at wc_curtis@yahoo.com.