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Review of Capital One 360′s Remote Deposit

This article was written by in Banking. 27 comments.


Several readers contacted me yesterday with this piece of good news. After months of promising its customers to launch the new feature soon, Capital One 360, formerly ING Direct, now offers remote check deposit. The delay was likely caused by the efforts that resulted in Capital One purchasing ING Direct USA. Previously, in order to deposit a check into an ING Direct savings or “Electric Orange” checking account, you would have needed to mail the check to a deposit address, deposit the check in a local bank branch and transfer the money to ING Direct later, or find an ATM that allowed deposits to the online bank.

Although paper checks are heading towards obsolescence and electronic person-to-person transactions are becoming more mainstream, some people still find paper checks convenient. For self-employed individuals and business owners, checks from clients are still a very common way of doing business.

Remote check deposit, where you do not need to visit a bank to deposit a check or send it through the mail and wait, is made possible by the “Check 21″ law. With the advancement of technology, an image of a check is just as legitimate as the check itself. In the last decade, banks have been providing scanners to business customers to securely scan and email check images for deposit.

This was an expensive proposition. In recent years, the process has improved, thanks again to technology. The cameras on cell phones now have enough resolution for these purposes. Rather than sending its customers large pieces of hardware, banks offer mobile phone applications — often for both iOS and Android — that use the phone’s camera and a secure internet connection to make remote deposit as easy as snapping a photograph or two.

How ING Direct’s remote deposit “CheckMate” works

ING DirectI wanted to try ING Direct’s remote deposit service, but without a check written to my personal account handy, I wrote myself a check for $10, withdrawing from my local Wells Fargo account. I downloaded the ING Direct app for my Android phone and configured my account. As expected, I needed my customer number, PIN, answers to several security questions, and recognition of my secret image, similar configuring online access on a new computer.

Once logged in, “Deposit” was an option at the top of the screen, alongside my account overview and transfers. To initiate remote deposit, the software required me to read and accept the CheckMate terms and conditions. The terms included a warning that deposits will be held by the bank for up to 5 business days. This is typical for check deposits to ING Direct, so it’s not completely unexpected. It is unfortunate, as even check deposits are often considered electronic transactions. The hold doesn’t apply to payroll checks or checks from the U.S. Treasury like federal tax refunds.

Check deposits using the ING Direct software are limited to $3,000 per check. Compared with Chase Bank’s $500 limit, this is an improvement, but could still make the service useless for some customers.

Once I agreed to the terms, the software prompted me to take a photograph of first the front of the check then the back of the check. It was difficult to focus on the back of the check, so I tried twice, changing the lighting environment to try to get a photograph that was more precise and included a legible copy of my signature.

After confirming both photographs, I entered the amount of the check and selected the account in which I wanted the $10 deposited. At the end of the process, I tapped the button to deposit the check and received this response:

All done. Your deposit will be available April 30. Hang on to your check until you get an email saying it posted. Then, void it.

ING Direct did send an email notification to say that my submission was successful, but this notification did not indicate that the funds were posted. For this, I’ll need to wait for a later email. I’ll update this article once I receive the email to indicate how long it takes to post $10. I checked my account online immediately after completing the deposit, and this appeared in my transaction history:

ING Direct Deposit

Notice how the total “Amount” is zero; the $10 is not available for me to use yet.

How to deposit checks without a cameraphone

The above process depends on having a mobile device with a camera and an internet connection. Not everyone has a smartphone or web-enabled, camera-equipped tablet. I didn’t see it at first, but ING Direct provides an option to remotely deposit checks without a camera. After you endorse your check for deposit, take a photograph using a digital camera of the front and back of your check. You could also use a scanner. Save the front and back as two separate JPG images. Access your account online, and click on “Image Upload” under the “Transfers & Deposits” heading. The website will take you through a process similar to the above.

Overall, whether using a mobile phone or your computer, depositing a check with ING Direct is now a simple and convenient process. If receiving checks is still a part of your life, and you’re looking for a way to exclude high-cost local banks from your personal finance system in favor of online banks like ING Direct, remote deposit is a necessity. ING Direct has made good on their promise to offer this service to their users.

February 2013 update: ING Direct is now Capital One 360. The functionality of the remote deposit hasn’t changed; the bank still uses the CheckMate application. Here is a full review of Capital One 360.

Hat tip to Daniel from Sweating the Big Stuff and many others, including the bank itself, who brought the news to my attention.

Updated February 8, 2013 and originally published April 26, 2012. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Ceecee ♦796 (Dime)

I actually closed my electric orange account for the lack of this feature. I hated having to have two checking accounts. However, since I only have a prepaid dumb phone, this still wouldn’t work for me.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,371 (Platinum)

Hi Ceecee,

Unfortunately these features, at least for consumer banking rather than business banking, require phones with cameras. There’s no option to take a photo with a digital camera and email it to the bank. It would probably be too insecure to do it that way.I’d be curious why you closed the account for a feature you wouldn’t use anyway. Is it just because it’s inconvenient to make deposits in general?

Update: A contact at ING Direct has pointed me to an alternate method for remote deposit which *does* allow you to take photographs of your check with a digital camera and upload them directly to the website. So this feature does exist for customers without cameraphones such as yourself. I’ll update the article shortly with the details.

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avatar shellye ♦107 (Cent)

This makes me happy, as I’m an ING customer, but the $3k limit makes it virtually worthless, as my spouse’s payroll ck exceeds that. He doesn’t get direct deposit, so we’ll have to keep doing things the same way for now. I wonder why there’s a limit? I’m sure for fraud purposes, but I would think with an established customer, who makes regular deposits, would be able to have a higher limit.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,371 (Platinum)

My remote deposit app for Chase is worse. There’s a $500 limit through that bank’s service.

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avatar Lulu

I have been waiting for this feature for a long time so I am really happy that it is finally available. ING is my main bank so I was really upset that other banks had it and ING was just lagging. I don’t have a problem with the $3000 limit because any checks I get are smaller than that and payroll is direct deposit…but I can see how that would be an issue for some people.

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avatar krantcents

I love the concept! I waiting for the day I can have remote ATM.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,371 (Platinum)

It would be nice if our smartphones could also print money. Maybe there will be an app for that.

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avatar Steve Dupree

It’s interesting that remote deposit is so much cheaper and/or more lucrative for banks that they could afford to give away free scanners.

My bank (also after a merger) recently started offering remote deposit, but I had to provide my own scanner. The first check took over half an hour to deposit, with all the setup steps. But after that it only takes about two minutes, far less time than driving to the bank.

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avatar Marissa @ Thirtysixmonths

I wish we had this in Canada! Although I rarely get cheques, its still a pain to go to the bank to deposit them.

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avatar Gina

I am so happy to hear this! I’ve been holding onto a bunch of small checks (real small, blogging income) and waiting to mail them to ING for deposit. This is much easier.

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avatar John

I’ve tried to use this with an Android smartphone. The ING app does not allow any interaction with the camera to improve focus or contrast, and the image is just unusably blurry. The proportions are distorted as well. The images are not only unacceptable for use, there’s no way to improve them. My phone camera works well on its own, but not at all with ING’s app. Frustrating not to have an app that other banks offer. Worse finally to get it and find that it doesn’t work. I’ll try it today with my Android tablet.

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avatar Holly

I agree; my android phone is very capable, Motorola Electrify, but the camera will not focus on the checks. I had two small checks from coworkers as reimbursement of a departmental purchase for a friend. I thought they’d be great to test the feature. I’m disappointed.

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avatar qixx ♦1,814 (Half-Dollar)

Glad this feature is finally setup. I’ve been waiting like the rest of you. I tried out the service but missed the cutoff for a Friday posting. Tomorrow i’ll see if there were any issues. I did have one of three checks that it told me it could not use the image and i had to resubmit. Other than that it seems to be working fine. This would just about eliminate my second bank now.

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avatar Melissa

Thanks for sharing this. I have yet one more reason to get a smart phone. :)

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avatar James Buck

While I’m really glad they’re finally offering this feature, so far (for me) it leaves a lot to be desired. I first tried depositing a check via a scanned image. I have a very good scanner and scanned both sides of the check at top quality. The images are clear as day and much better than anything a camera phone could output. When I submitted the images through the ING website, it said “We can’t read the numbers on the bottom of the check.” Really? The numbers couldn’t be clearer.

So I then tried using the Android app on my Asus Transformer (I don’t have an Android phone). No luck there either – as soon as I go to the “deposit” feature and click to take the snap shot, the app crashes.

I know this feature is new, so I’m willing to wait it out, but obviously they have lots of bugs to work out.

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avatar Smik

Yeah, I have the Galaxy Nexus and the app crashes each time when I try to ‘snap front’. No idea why – it was working fine a while ago.

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avatar Cindy

Nothing works. If you try to scan the checks, it puts “Void” in the background. I have tried two different cameras and none of the images from either one have been accepted. I only got one or two image uploads to work, when it was still ING.

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avatar billybob

With a scanner you need a cock-eyed image. I put checks on my flatbed at a 20-30 degree angle and set a sheet of pink bubble wrap behind it, scan, then reduce it to 1024×765. The checkmate image processing software is trying to deskew a rectangular image based on the corners. It often fails unless it has ‘something to do’ like rotate a skew of more than zero. Strange, but true.

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avatar David W

Unfortunately this feature comes too little to late for me. I already switched to USAA. Their Android and iOS apps both work great and the hold time isn’t arbitrary as it is for ING. For a feature that has been in the oven for over a year I am disappointed at ING

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avatar R

You’re absolutely correct – The $3k limit makes this service useless, to this customer at least.

Thought it was going to be a great solution for an online bank, until I had to deposit a check between $3-5k.

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avatar Courtney

The hold DOES apply to payroll checks deposited using CheckMate. Just got off the phone with ING. Which just as a sidebar, was a really great experience. A very nice girl answered the phone after 2 rings. No menu, no digital voice. Just a helpful human. That was nice.

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avatar wvanbusk

ING direct remote deposit expects an imperfect photography based image that needs correcting. Images need to clearly show the check outline, including corners, so the application can crop and correct the image. A perfect scanned image fails because the app cannot find the outline of the check to grab and process. Put the check in the scanner so that the scanner software is unable to make corrections such as cropping, keystone and rotation. The more the image looks like a snapshot, the better. The app needs a ‘photo’ like jpg do it’s magic on, otherwise it just fails to ‘read’ a check.

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avatar Dan

Thanks for this recommendation. I’ve been trying unsuccessfully, on and off, for a year to deposit through checkmate. I work in the imaging industry, so my scans are always perfect :) I’ve been wondering why they always fail!

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avatar wvanbusk

I used a scanner to deposit a consulting paycheck. This was a first time deposit into a new ING Direct account. The check was from a non ING account (SunTrust). Well I’m happy to report that it was only 10 minutes between the ‘received’ and ‘deposited’ emails.

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avatar Simon

The system is very finicky, and more often than not rejects the deposit with the message, “We can’t read your check. Please try taking another photo.” This is with a high-quality scan, mind you, not a low-res mobile phone snapshot, so I’m sure the latter would never work. Clearly the system needs major improvements.

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avatar Kevin

I finally got check deposit to work. I took some really good scans with scanner and I received a message that the images could not be read. What I did to resolve it was I took a piece of paper down, used a black marker to draw a an outline around the check, then cut out the middle. Then I put the check inside the cutout, scanned the image and it accepted it right away.

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avatar Zeke

Thanks Kevin. This trick worked perfectly!

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