Chime® is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services, credit, and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC.

Mobile deposit is a timesaving online banking feature that empowers you to transfer money from a paper check into your account with only a smartphone and an internet connection. Using it, you can easily deposit personal, business, cashier’s, traveler’s, and government-issued checks without the hassle of an inconvenient trip to the bank or ATM. 

In this guide, we’ll teach you how to mobile deposit a check for faster access to your funds.

1. Sign in or download a mobile banking app

The first thing you need to do is make sure that your financial institution or credit union accepts mobile check deposits. Most do so in their mobile banking app, but you can check your financial institution’s website or contact customer service if you’re not sure. 

If your bank has mobile deposits, follow these steps:

  • Download the app.
  • Sign in.
  • Head to the menu and look for the mobile check deposit option.
  • Begin the deposit process.

If your bank doesn’t enable mobile check deposits, consider looking for a mobile app that does offer that feature or making a deposit in person.

2. Check the deposit guidelines

Next, look up your financial institution’s mobile check deposit guidelines. You’ll find important information about weekly and monthly deposit limits, including how long funds will take to appear in your account. You can usually find these guidelines in the mobile deposit feature on your financial institution’s app. 

Mobile check deposit rules vary between banks and credit unions, so read the guidelines even if you’ve used other mobile banking services. In most cases, you can prevent delays and make sure you have everything you need for the upcoming steps.

Deposit checks from anywhere* and get paid up to two days early with direct deposit† – just use the Chime online banking app.

3. Endorse your check

A check showing where to sign and add a restrictive endorsement for mobile deposits.

The first thing you’ll need to do is endorse the check for mobile deposit. During the endorsement process, you can verify that the information written on the check is accurate and that you’re making a mobile deposit. 

The steps for a mobile check deposit endorsement include:

  1. Signing the back of the check: The endorsement area is usually on the back under a header that reads “Endorse check here,” along with three to five grey lines. Sign your full name in this area using black or blue ink like you would for a regular deposit. 
  2. Adding a mobile check deposit endorsement: Unlike in-person check deposits, you need to add a restrictive endorsement under your signature for mobile check deposits. The phrasing requirements might change depending on where you bank, but it’s usually something like, “For mobile deposit only.”

Once you prep the physical copy of the check, it’s time to take a couple of pictures. 

4. Photograph both sides of the check

Snap a photo of the check – front and back. 

Get a clear image of both sides of the check so your bank or credit union can verify the sender’s information, the amount, and your signature. If the photos are low-quality, the Remote Deposit Capture (RDC) might have difficulty scanning the check, which can lead to processing delays.¹

An image showing the front of a check and all of the information that would need to be seen as you take a picture.

To avoid this, use these tips to capture sharp images with all the necessary details:

  • Clean your phone’s camera if needed to prevent blurry images.
  • Take photos in areas with good lighting and try to prevent shadows.
  • Line up the camera and keep some space around the check so you don’t accidentally crop out important details like the routing number or account number.
  • Photograph the check over a solid background to prevent difficulties in processing the check image.

Ultimately, you should retake the pictures until all of the information is legible and in view. Your mobile banking app should also offer features like a frame to help you line up the check or pop-up messages when the light is too dim.

5. Enter details and check for errors

After the app accepts your images and you’re confident they’re easy to read, you usually need to verify the information on the check. At this point, the app will likely ask you to enter the deposit amount and specify which account to deposit the money into. Most financial institutions will allow you to deposit the funds into your checking account or savings account.

If your app auto-fills the information, you should still double-check those details. At this stage, you should try your best to catch errors with:

  • The check amount
  • A restrictive endorsement
  • Your account number
  • Misspellings

6. Submit the mobile check deposit

After you upload pictures of both sides of your check and confirm all of the information is correct, all you need to do is submit your check. 

Once you do, it can take a few minutes to a few business days for the funds to appear in your account. For the most part, the timeline depends on your financial institution’s fraud detection process and check-hold policies. If you need funds fast, check your bank’s policies before starting the deposit.

7. Hold onto the check until it clears

You should hang onto your check until the funds appear in your account. That way, you will have proof of any discrepancy or if you run into other problems later on. 

Once the mobile deposit goes through correctly, you can void the check and store it somewhere safe if you need to review your past transactions. Or, you can shred and recycle it.

Mobile check deposits made easy

Take advantage of your bank’s mobile check deposit feature to save time. Although the process can come with a learning curve, it’ll be well worth the effort. 

If you set up direct deposit with Chime, you can send recurring payments directly into your checking account without hassle. Chime Checking Accounts also allow you to make mobile check deposits easily, which comes in handy if you receive paper checks often. 

FAQs about mobile check deposits

Still have questions about mobile depositing a check? Here are the answers you need. 

What is a mobile check deposit?

A mobile check deposit is a feature that allows people to deposit physical checks through a mobile app using their phone camera and an internet connection. 

How does Chime mobile check deposit work? 

To use Chime’s mobile deposit feature, follow these steps:

  • Double-check that the name on the check matches the name on your Chime Checking Account.
  • Sign the back of the check.
  • Download and log in to the Chime mobile app.
  • Tap Move Money. 
  • Tap Mobile Check Deposit.
  • Follow mobile check deposit prompts.
  • Save the paper check until the money clears.

How long will it take for my check to clear?

It depends on your financial institution. In most cases, funds will appear in your account in a few minutes to a few business days. It can sometimes take up to a week, especially if your check is flagged for review or is for a large amount. 

What do I need to know before starting a mobile check deposit?

After reading your financial institution’s mobile deposit guidelines, you should be able to answer these questions and decide whether or not you want to use the service:

  • Can I deposit a check with rips, smudges, or shadows? 
  • Do I need specific lighting to photograph the check? 
  • How much money can I deposit every day/week/month?
  • How many checks can I deposit every day/week/month?
  • What endorsement phrasing do I need to use for mobile deposit? 
  • Does my financial institution have unique mobile check deposit rules?

Chime® is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. The Chime Visa® Debit Card and the Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card are issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit and credit cards are accepted. Please see the back of your Card for its issuing bank.

While Chime doesn’t issue personal checkbooks to write checks, Chime Checkbook gives you the freedom to send checks to anyone, anytime, from anywhere. See your issuing bank’s Deposit Account Agreement for full Chime Checkbook details.

By clicking on some of the links above, you will leave the Chime website and be directed to a third-party website. The privacy practices of those third parties may differ from those of Chime. We recommend you review the privacy statements of those third party websites, as Chime is not responsible for those third parties' privacy or security practices.

Third-party trademarks referenced for informational purposes only; no endorsements implied.

Opinions, advice, services, or other information or content expressed or contributed here by customers, users, or others, are those of the respective author(s) or contributor(s) and do not necessarily state or reflect those of The Bancorp Bank, N.A. and Stride Bank, N.A. (“Banks”). Banks are not responsible for the accuracy of any content provided by author(s) or contributor(s).

* Mobile Check Deposit eligibility is determined by Chime in its sole discretion and may be granted based on various factors including, but not limited to, a member's direct deposit enrollment status.

† Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.

1 Information from Government Finance Officers Association’s Using Remote Deposit Capture as of 11/8/23: https://www.gfoa.org/materials/using-remote-deposit-capture

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