Have You Thought About Mobile Check Deposit Limits?


20 October,2014

One of the great things about technology is that it makes it possible for you to do your banking from almost anywhere. You can initiate transfers, check your balance, and even pay your bills right from your cell phone. It’s even possible to deposit a check via cell phone. I do it all the time.

In fact, the fact that online banking is so convenient is one of the reasons that, when I moved, I decided not to change all of my banking. I kept the same primary checking, even though there are no local branches. And, of course, there are a number of online checking accounts that don’t even have physical branches anywhere.

I figured that there would be no problem with keeping my banking the same, just because technology makes everything so connected. Unfortunately, what I hadn’t banked on was the limits that might come with mobile check deposit.

You Can’t Remotely Deposit Every Check You End Up With

Not too long ago, I did some work with a major brand. It was a blogging campaign that resulted in a rather large check, since part of the deal was that I would distribute payments to blogging participants. When I went to deposit my check, I made a startling discover: My bank has a monthly limit on what I can deposit in checks.

Most of the time, this monthly deposit rule isn’t a problem. Most of my clients pay via PayPal; hardly anyone uses checks anymore. I just have a few clients that pay by check, and it’s pretty easy to deposit them remotely. But as I tried to deposit this check, I realized that it was for more than the monthly limit.

Not to be deterred, I decided to try another account. I have an online-only account as well. I use it for short-term emergency savings. It has check deposit capability, so I decided to go for it. While the monthly limit isn’t nearly as low as my primary bank account, I discovered that there is still a daily limit. My check was too big for the daily limit.

In the end, I had to go to a branch of a local bank and open an entirely new account, just so that I could deposit the check. It kind of put paid to my idea that it is possible to completely avoid banking offline.

Do You Need to Change Your Check Deposit Strategy?

If you discover that your online account won’t let you remotely deposit larger checks, it makes sense to change up your strategy. Most banks will allow you to mail in a deposit. You can usually get deposit envelopes sent to you for free, and then mail in a big check when you get it. This means that you might end up having to wait longer to have access to your funds, since you will have to wait until the check arrives, and is deposited.

Another possibility is to ask the check producer to write two different checks. In my case, two different checks would have worked if I had asked for them to be of amounts that would fit into my two different accounts. The online-only checking account featured a larger daily limit, so I could have asked to have one check cut for that larger amount. The remainder would have fit into my primary checking account’s rules for monthly remote deposits (although it might have caused problems with “regular” checks later).

For the most part, you probably aren’t going to have this problem with remote check deposit. I know that it’s not going to be a common occurrence for me. But it’s still good to have a plan prepared — just in case.