The Washington Post

More area banks to offer mobile deposits

Jen Faber has grown accustomed to depositing checks into her bank account while sitting on her couch.

It takes her 10 minutes to take photographs of 30 checks and submit them to her bank. Within hours, the deposits show up in her account.

“It’s super-fast,” said Faber, who uses M&T Bank’s mobile banking program for small businesses. “One of my biggest priorities is saving time.

Last summer, PNC became the first bank in the Washington area to offer mobile deposits.

Since then, more banks in the Washington region have been making forays into apps that allow customers to check balances and manage their accounts.

PNC's mobile deposit interface. (screengrab)

Some, like M&T, are testing the waters with small-business clients, while others — Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Capital One — are starting programs for regular consumers.

Bank of America rolled out a new mobile deposit program on Thursday. Wells Fargo, which started a pilot program in May, said it plans to expand the mobile deposits to the Washington area by the end of this year.

“By listening to our customers, we’ve created a whole new way for them to stay on top of their finances in a safe, secure and confident manner,” said Brian Pearce, senior vice president at Wells Fargo’s digital channels group.

Capital One currently offers mobile deposits to its ING Direct customers and has plans to eventually extend the program to all customers, according to bank spokesman Mark Andrews.

Mitek Systems, which has developed mobile deposit apps for more than 400 banks, including Wells Fargo and Bank of America, said it has processed $10 billion in mobile deposits since 2007.

Richard Bynum, an executive vice president at PNC Bank, said the company is still assessing the success of its mobile deposit program in the Washington area, but added that there has been “extremely wide adoption” during the last year.

“Customers are coming to banks now more than ever — they’re just doing it on-demand, using their phones 24 hours a day,” he said.

Faber, the owner and president of Kinetic Health Alternatives, an Arlington-based medical company, has been using M&T Bank’s app for mobile deposits since January. The program officially started last month, after a seven-month pilot period.

“We have seen it grow very substantially,” said Mike Shryne, senior vice president for alternative banking at M&T Bank. “We’ve had deposits of well over $1 million.”

Faber, a doctor who travels to her patients, said she likes the flexibility of mobile deposits, which allows her to forego the 40-minute drive to her local bank branch every week.

“To be able to sit at home, have the TV on and do your banking is a great innovation,” Faber said.

Abha Bhattarai is a business reporter for The Washington Post. She has previously written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters and the St. Petersburg Times.
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