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Ken Tumin founded the Bank Deals Blog in 2005 and has been passionately covering the best deposit deals ever since. He is frequently referenced by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications as a top expert, but he is first and foremost a fellow deal seeker and member of the wonderful community of savers that frequents DepositAccounts.

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Ally Bank and ING Direct Working on Remote Deposit Capture


Both ING Direct and Ally Bank have nice checking accounts, but one thing they currently lack is remote deposit capture in which you can deposit checks with either a home PC/scanner or smartphone. Now you either have to mail in the check for deposit or deposit the check at your local bank, and then initiate an ACH transfer. That may soon be changing. I received information from Ally and ING Direct representatives who say they're working on it.

Here's what I received from an Ally Bank representative:

This is an echeck deposit feature we are still working on. The feature is not fully released yet and we are going to be testing it on up to 25,000 new customers that are not Ally customers yet. No release date has been posted yet for our existing customers.

I called ING Direct today, and according to the ING Direct representative, their remote deposit service is "in the works" and is "being tested". I was told the expected release date is summer or fall of this year.

With remote check deposit, you may no longer need a brick-and-mortar bank. So internet banks have the most to gain with offering this service. You would think that this service would be common at internet banks. But it's not, and only a few currently offer it.

Late last year I reviewed banks and credit unions offering remote deposit. USAA Bank is probably the best known internet bank offering remote deposit (called Deposit@Home), but it's limited to members who are eligible for USAA property and casualty insurance. This requires some military connection.

EverBank started offering its remote deposit service, called Online Check Deposits, last year, and this service is available to all EverBank customers. I did a review of EverBank's remove deposit in October.

So ING Direct and Ally are a little behind at releasing this service. I hope they do release it this year.

Related Pages: Ally Bank, checking account

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  |     |   Comment #1
Service Credit Union has offered this service for a couple of years and it works very well.  I spoke with Mike Lin (not sure on spelling of last name ) ING Direct about this on  3/3/10 (Just over a year ago).  He said they are looking into it the ability to offering a service like Service Credit Union's "WebDeposit 24".  What really makes the whole story interesting is that Service Credit Union is a smaller finincial institution and has this feature for over 2 years and ING Direct which operates as mostly an on-line bank in the US doesn't have this availible.
  |     |   Comment #2
Mostly useless feature, how many checks do you deposit per month?
  |     |   Comment #3
As rates descend internet banking options become ever more meaningless with the hoops and inconveniences customers must endure.  To wit:

BEGIN CHAT - Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Ophie: Thank you for chatting with me today. How can I help?

Craig: Ophie, Do you know if there is any immediate plan for Ally to institute remote deposit on their checking accounts?

Ophie: I am not sure what the term "remote deposit" means.

Craig: Then that's a bad sign. Remote deposit is a method of allowing the customer to scan a check they've received for deposit into their accounts. Since Ally has no physical presence without mailing in deposits there is no convenient way without using some other branch bank that is linked to Ally.

Ophie: We do have that option, Ally calls it "echeck deposit".

Ophie: I apologize.

Craig: When did that become available. I haven't heard anything about it and I've been waiting before opening a checking account in addition to my other accounts at Ally.

Ophie: Certainly, it was just recent.

Craig: Is there anywhere on the website that you can direct me to so I can read about it and see if it's what I'm expecting? This is not for purposes of having direct deposits made from an employer or anything like that is it?

Ophie: One moment while I retrieve this information for you.

Ophie: Thank you for holding Craig. Under the search tool, please enter echeck

Craig: OK, that sounds easy enough.

Ophie: Select the deposit agreement and scroll through the pages.

Ophie: After you have scrolled through pages 16-17, the next page has information about eCheck Deposit.

Craig: OK, I'm still working my way down. I'll jump to page 17

Ophie: Take your time.

Craig: I think that Echeck service term section explains most everything. How long has it been available? Do you know?

Ophie: Let me just get that information for you.

Craig: OK

Ophie: I'm sorry for the delay. I'll be right with you.

Ophie: Ally has now this service for our employees as a trial. We do not have an exact date as to when it will be available to our customers.  I do apologize, even though the information is noted on our website.

Craig: Oh, its not ready for prime time yet then.

Ophie: That is correct.

Ophie: It is only a trial for our employees.

Craig: So I'm back to my original question. When do you think it will become available or I have to make other arrangements at another bank.

Ophie: We do not have an exact date when echeck will be in place.

Craig: One month? One week? Any idea?

Ophie: Sorry, no time frame as of yet.

Ophie: We need to make sure that the product works to the fullest. Would you like for us to contact you when it is in place?

Craig: I can understand that. But there are probably two dozen other banks and credit unions that have it working now, so without some hard estimate I'm off to search other venues. Too bad. Otherwise I prefer working with Ally.

Ophie: The check(s) you are going to deposit via echeck, is it a personal check you will be receiving from another individual?

Craig: Yes, but I'm frequently not near my home and there's no easy way for the deposits to be made without mailing them in, which is too much of a delay.

Ophie: I am sorry to hear that. We hope you will contact us via our toll-free number  1-877-247-ALLY (2559) to inquire about this option, or on our website

Ophie: www.ally.com

Craig: Well, I just inquired and if that's all there is to be explained what purpose would calling do?

Ophie: To see if any dates have been set for echeck deposit.

Craig: Oh, I see. Well, is there someone else that might have a better estimate if I were to call or is your info all that's known at this time?

Ophie: I realize that mailing the check would take some time, but Ally will provide free deposit slips and envelopes for mailing in your deposit.  This is the information for now.

Craig: Well, hopefully this experience has helped you answer the next person that asks the same about Echeck. You had me going there for a minute.


  |     |   Comment #4
The one sure thing that echeck or remote deposit will make easier - that is, proceesing bogus checks faster through the system without having to mail or go to a financial institution.
  |     |   Comment #5
I've been using online deposit system offered by USE Credit Union in California for about a year now and find it very useful. I will welcome Ally's offering.
  |     |   Comment #6
USAA has had this service for over a year they call it "deposit@home"  They also have "deposit@mobile" where you can take a picture of a check with your phone and deposit it.  I had both and they work great
  |     |   Comment #7
Alliant Credit Union offers this feature and it is handy.
  |     |   Comment #8
Apple Federal Credit Union has a working system which is easy to use and trouble free.  You must be able to qualify for this option  by meeting a number of different standards such as having no adverse history with the credit union, having a checking account, direct deposit, and several other considerations.
  |     |   Comment #11
meadows credit union has a teller express that allows you to scan the check (front and back) and have it deposited that way...
  |     |   Comment #12
Don't forget, PFCU (Pentagon Federal Credit Union) has had online deposit of checks via scanner now for months, before even USAA, I think. I've used the PFCU service a couple of times, and it works great, including that the funds from the online deposited check become immediately available in your account as soon as you complete the online process. Entire process start to finish probably takes about 5 minutes or less per check from the comfort of your home -- assuming you have a scanner at home.

  |     |   Comment #13

You might want to write an article explaining remote deposits.  To me, this seems like it would be a scammers dream come true.  It would be very easy to change a check using a photo editing program, scan it, and send the forged check to the bank.  Even better, open ten different accounts at different banks that offers remote deposits, scan a few large amount legitimate checks for each bank, withdraw the money immediately and run!  There must be some safety nets for the banks.  Is there a hold on scanned checks?  Is it possible to keep the check you scanned and run it through again in a few weeks?  All of this is new to me and perhaps also to some of your other readers.  I think this would be a good topic for your blog.

  |     |   Comment #14
I reported posts 9 and 10 as spam early this morning and they are still there.

Note that the web site they are pointing to is "westernunionrates" not "westernunion."  Westernunionrates is obviously not the legitimate WU web site (take a look at the broken English).

  |     |   Comment #15
I wish that Capital One Direct Banking would get its act together and offer this feature.  I don't understand why banks aren't all racing to offer Remote Deposit Capture... it gets more checks into their coffers faster, which is exactly what they want, right?
  |     |   Comment #16
Will we have to buy a scanner to use this remote deposit?
  |     |   Comment #17

I use the EDeposit Plus feature with Alliant CU. I had to be a member for 6 months before I qualified to use it and even then, I don't think it's guaranteed. If your usage seemed suspicious, I imagine they would refuse that service to you. You still have to endorse the check, and scan both the front and back of the check. Your funds are available immediately, but they tell you to retain the receipt and the physical check for 60 days, presumably in case there are questions.

The service agreement also notes: Certain items are not allowed to be deposited using eDeposit. If you send in any of the items listed below for deposit, it will result in the immediate reversal of the deposit(s) to your account, a possible negative account balance, and will result in the revocation of this service.

This list includes (among others):

Check(s) drawn on your Alliant savings and/or checking account(s) bearing the same account number; and

Altered check: Any check that contains evidence of a change, as determined by Alliant. This can include, but is not limited to, an item that appears to be “washed” or counterfeit.

I don't know what the verification process is like, but it seems fairly secure to me.
  |     |   Comment #18

Thank you for your answer.  I did believe that there would have to be some kind of verification process involved.

  |     |   Comment #19
For those who never deposit checks and say it's useless, my boyfriend is an independent contractor and doesn't have direct deposit available to him. He deposits up to 10 checks per month and would love mobile deposits.
  |     |   Comment #20
I am an ING Direct Account Holder, and I deposit at least 30 checks per month.  Remote Deposit would be far from useless for me.
  |     |   Comment #22
It's not useless at all. I only deposit a few checks a year but my grandmother still sends checks to my kids on holidays and their birthdays. I also get checks from a local consignment shop when I sell outgrown kids clothes to them. So while checks aren't used as often anymore, they're not obsolete

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