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Deposit checks with your iPhone


Update: This app is now available.

Earlier this summer I took a paperless vacation abroad, thanks to my iPhone and Evernote. I could have done a digital boarding pass for extra efficiency, but I was happy enough with my experience. The digital boarding pass is a matrix code sent to your phone or PDA via online check-in, saving time and benefiting the environment and those without a printer (also, printers just love to run out of ink at the most inopportune time). Continental, American and Northwest offer the digital boarding pass option (here's a good run-down on how they work).

Now, the privately-held USAA Bank intends to let customers deposit checks via a pending update to the bank's iPhone app. According to the New York Times, the feature will require customers to photograph both the back and front of the check with their iPhone's camera. From there, they simply send the images to the bank via the app and presto, the check is credited to that customer's account. They can then void and destroy the paper check; it's no longer needed.

Fraud is an obvious concern, but one of the bank's executive vice presidents, Wayne Peacock, says they've got the necessary security measures in place. Specifically, the service will be limited to customers who are both eligible for credit and insured by the bank. All told, about 60% of current customers meet the threshold for acceptance, according to Mr. Peacock.

I think it's a fantastic experiment and look forward to seeing how it goes. This further confirms my conviction that the iPhone is an amazing portable computer that affects our lives in tremendous ways. Some may chose to ditch their iPhones, but mine isn't going anywhere.

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