Monday, August 10, 2009

Wireless Check Deposit Comes To Wireless (iPhone For Now)

Wireless banking has taken on a new twist.  A welcoming one as one bank now offers wireless checking deposit.

USAA, a bank that counts military personnel as a large portion of its customer base, will allow customers to use their iPhone to photograph the check and send the images to the bank via USAA's own app.  And get this, there is no need to send in the check either.

I experienced something similar, not quite wirelessly, through Bank of America's ATM machine.  So, I think it is potentially like we will see this new feature added through the rest of the banking industry.

However, for now, only certain customers of USAA, those with credit, are allowed to use this function to clamp down on potential fraud.  Just imagine.  No need to make a special trip to the bank or ATM just to deposit a check anymore.  

NY Times article also provided additional information and stats on mobile banking:
  • USAA has about 1 million of its 7.2 million who bank wirelessly.  Almost 14%.  The iPhone app was only introduced in May.
  • 15 Million in the US bank wirelessly each month.
  • Banks stand to save $14 per customer if they can train customers to send text instead of calling for help and services.
  • iPhone pushing way for innovation in banking.  BOFA has 3 million mobile banking customers and iPhone use accounts for 43%.
Of course, banking is only one, albeit increasingly important, aspect of mobile life and computing.  Now, supermarkets, restaurants, and online stores are also offering apps, mostly on the iPhone (for now), that is paving way for how we conduct our lives.  Order pizza wirelessly, grocery shopping for important recipe ingredients, and buying movie tickets are only the beginning.

Business really cannot afford not to have an online component any longer, least of all, wireless functionalities.  Imagine making reservations, seeing the day's special, and order your food before your party gets to that special restaurant will radically change what it's like to eat out.  

Mentioned Link:  NY Times

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