ING Direct has finally released a remote deposit service that allows customers to deposit checks online for free. It's called CheckMate, and it allows checks to be deposited from a PC or from a smartphone. It has been over a year since I first reported that ING Direct was working on this service.
ING Direct customers with either a personal savings account or checking account can use CheckMate for check deposits. These customers can log into their accounts and access CheckMate. ING Direct has a video demo of CheckMate which shows how customers can make deposits from either their PC or from their mobile phone.
To deposit a check from your PC, you need to capture images of the front and back of the check. Once you have two images captured in jpeg format, you can log into ING Direct and use CheckMate to upload the images for the check deposit.
For the mobile phone, you'll need to use ING Direct's mobile app which steps you through the check deposit.
For both the mobile app and image upload, you'll receive an email to notify you when the check is successfully submitted. A second email will be sent confirming that your check has been successfully deposited. After this second email, it will be safe to void the paper check.
Like all remote deposit services, there's a maximum deposit limit. According to ING Direct's Q&As, there's a limit of $3,000 per deposit. Also, there’s a daily limit of $5,000 or 20 check deposits, whichever you reach first.
For checks over $500, ING Direct will place hold on the funds for 5 business days. For checks under $500, the hold time will be 2 business days for checking accounts and 5 business days for savings accounts. The first $200 will be made available the next business day if the deposits are made into a checking account.
Compared to Other Internet Banks
One downside of CheckMate compared with the remote deposit capture services at other internet banks is a smaller deposit limit. Ally Bank's eCheck Deposit service which it launched last October has a daily limit is $5,000 and a monthly limit of $25,000. EverBank released its Online Check Deposit service in 2010. Its daily limit is $10,000.
For those who want to use their smartphones for check deposits, ING Direct has an advantage over Ally Bank. Ally Bank has announced that it will be rolling out its mobile banking services in 2012. EverBank launched a mobile deposit product in February 2012.
For those looking to replace their brick-and-mortar bank, this gives them fewer reasons to keep a local bank account. However, there may be times that you'll need a local bank. If your check is too big for CheckMate, you may want to deposit the check into your local bank account. Then you can do an ACH transfer at ING Direct. You can avoid the local bank by mailing the check to ING Direct.
ING Direct & Capital One
ING Direct is now part of Capital One. You can read about the transition process in this post.
Edit 5:11pm EDT: Corrected Ally Bank's monthly eCheck deposit limit from $10K to $25K (per CSR). Also, removed mention of EverBank not having a mobile check deposit feature.