My loathing of having to go to my local bank branch has caused me to review one of my rules about using banking apps on wireless devices (and using wireless phone networks). Every bank now offers “free cheque” deposit using your phone or tablet camera. Their ATM machines are effectively doing the same thing i.e. photographing your cheque and clearing it that way.
You simply take a picture of the front and the back of the cheque, with your mobile phone (inside of your banking apps). Input in the app how much the cheque is for (with a note to associate with it as well). Note on the actual cheque that you have done the deposit (and when). Keep the cheque for 10 days (to make sure it clears) and once it clears, shred the cheque. TD offers this, as does Tangerine and a few other banks.
Previously I have ranted about the insecurity of doing your on-line banking over a wireless network . It’s also incredibly bad to do your on-line banking in an Internet Cafe or on any computer that you don’t control (even the one in your office, assuming your place of work is safe can be a dangerous assumption). Given using this new service means I don’t have to go to my “brick and mortar” bank, I will qualify my rant about wireless and banking apps .
- Surprisingly it is better to use this on your a cellular data network (the security on those networks is much better than you might think), so if you are going to use this service and you are not at home don’t use public wi-fi or any stuff like that, use your cellular data network.
- Don’t use Public Wi-Fi, Restaurant Wi-Fi, or “Hey look I found open Wi-Fi”, for anything, but especially not for Internet Banking, seriously, you aren’t doing that, are you?
- If you have a home Wi-Fi Network and it is not open (i.e. you use WPA2, WPA or WEP protocols) then you can use your home Wi-Fi (also don’t broadcast your SSID either) for on-line banking.
An interesting issue can arise (that I read about on this Reddit Thread) that if you try to deposit a post dated cheque early (using your camera and your mobile phone app), you are going to end up being in a bit of a mess. To sum it up, the bank will negate the deposit, and the cheque you have will be useless, as it has been refused by a bank, so whomever wrote you the cheque will have to write you a new one (this is why it is well worthwhile reading the /r/PersonalFinanceCanada Reddit sub).