Need to Deposit a Cheque? There's an App for That!

Online banking has been around for years, but it seems like only yesterday that financial institutions embraced banking by smartphone with the emergence of the banking app. The main problem with online banking is that you still need to visit an actual real-life bank to deposit a physical cheque. Until now. Westminster Savings has become the fist financial institution in British Columbia and one of three in Canada to allow cheque deposit via your smartphone.

The premise of the service dubbed “Deposit Anywhere” is simple; open the app on your smartphone, take a picture of the cheque, select the destination account and voila, it’s deposited into your account. There is no additional fee for the service, and clearing time is anywhere from a few minutes to a few days, depending on your relationship with the bank. After the cheque has been endorsed, the client simply opens the app and takes a photo of both side of the cheque. The app will scan the details and if the images pass a series of checks, it will be deposited into your account. Ed Brett from Westminster Savings recommends that you write “Deposited” on the front of the cheque and keep it in a safe place for 90 days. Security measures are in place within the app using standard multi-level authentication and encryption to prevent the cheque from being deposited again.

Need to Deposit a Cheque? There's an App for That!

Electronic transmission of cheque imaging has been allowed in the United States since 2004 but it was only last year in Canada that regulators relaxed a series of restrictions regarding electronic images of cheques. Major banks in the US such as Chase, JP Morgan and Bank of America have already been allowing deposit by cheque for a few years. Cheque use is steadily declining in Canada, at the rate of 6% per year, as an increasing number of companies and individuals turn to forms of electronic payment. The Government of Canada recently announced that it would phase out conventional cheque payments completely and switch to direct deposit only by April 2016. Other major financial institutions in Canada are readying this technology for release in their apps later this year.


The app is great for those on the go who don’t have time to head down to the ATM or find a parking spot at the bank and wait in line. For many small businesses, it will ease the payment process and allow payments to be scanned and deposited on location, freeing up even more precious time. Yours truly has had a cheque lying around for almost 2 months, simply because I didn’t want to make a special trip just to deposit ten dollars. “Deposit Anywhere” is currently available for iOS (iPhone and iPad) only at the moment with an Android app expected to be released later in the year.

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