Ally Bank has made its remote deposit service called eCheck Deposit available to all customers. This allows customers to deposit checks at home using a PC and scanner. Earlier this year, Ally gave select customers access to this service.
Yesterday I gave Ally's eCheck Deposit a try, and it worked well. When you log in, select the "make a deposit" link in the left menu. The first option is the eCheck Deposit.
The scan process was the same as a reader's review that I posted in June. I have a Dell PC with a a HP printer/scanner, and the eCheck Deposit software worked without any major issues. The only minor issue was that it couldn't read the account number on the check in the first scan. I received the message:
We are having trouble identifying the account and/or routing numbers at the bottom of your check. Please make sure the entire check is visible – if not, you can revert to the original image using Undo and try cropping again. If you need to rescan your check, choose Back and rescan the check using 200 DPI or greater on your scanner setting.
I followed its instructions and rescanned the front of the check with an increased DPI on the scanner setting. That fixed the problem.
At the end of the process, Ally displays a receipt showing a copy of the original check. You are instructed to keep the check for 60 days before destroying it. According to the confirmation message, checks submitted online before 4 pm ET will post the next business day. It'll take another business day if it's done after 4 pm. Once the deposit is posted to your account, it will begin to earn interest. Ally will send you an email to let you know your deposit was successful and give you details on when your funds will be available for withdrawal.
The eCheck Deposits can be made into your Ally savings, money market and checking accounts. It can also be used to fund a CD.
Ally eCheck Deposit Maximum Deposits
An important limitation eCheck Deposit service is the maximum deposit limits. I was told by an Ally CSR today that the daily limit is $5,000, and the monthly limit is $10,000. If you have checks larger than these limits, you can always mail in the deposits using Ally's free postage-paid envelopes.
For those looking to replace their brick-and-mortar bank, this gives them fewer reasons to keep a local bank account. The only complication is if you need to deposit cash. When I asked an Ally Bank CSR about how to deposit cash, I was told that I would need to purchase a money order, and then mail that in for deposit the same way I would for a check. The downside of this is that there is usually a fee for the money order. The only online bank that I know of with a free way to deposit cash is PerkSreet Financial. PerkStreet customers can make cash deposits at MoneyGram ExpressPayment centers for free.
The next thing that Ally is working on is mobile banking. According to Ally's blog, they plan to rollout mobile banking in 2012. The first phases will just include the basics of mobile banking like being able to check your balances and transfer money between your Ally accounts. More advance mobile banking features will come out later in 2012. One is the ability to use your smart phone to deposit checks.