Sometimes it's nice to get away from your desk, take a leisurely drive to the bank, wait in line for a teller, and deposit your company's checks, then drive back to the office and catch up on what you missed while at the bank... It's not a problem if you get a couple checks in per week, but if you need to make deposits daily, that eats up a lot of work time! It's made worse by the fact that bank hours are our business hours too.
Remote check deposit allows you to deposit checks without physically getting them to the bank – no need to mail in checks or make a trip to the branch during banking hours. The process is super simple too: a check scanner creates an image of the check, submits it to your bank, and the check is processed and deposited to your account. Obviously this makes life easier, but there are pros and cons to using this service.
Does Remote Deposit Make Sense?
Before you sign up for remote deposit, you should make sure it makes sense for your business. This service is best for businesses that process a high volume of checks. You can define that however you want, but more than about 25-30 in a month is generally a good threshold.
Why does check volume matter? Well, it typically costs money to sign up for your bank’s remote deposit service – although free alternatives might be available, depending on your banking institution. More and more banks are starting to allow check deposits with a mobile phone or tablet at no cost (even for business accounts), so remote deposit only makes sense if a mobile device isn’t sufficient for your needs.
Remote deposit is typically much faster than using a mobile device too, particularly when your depositing multiple checks at a time, so it might be well worth the money. Most banks are also putting monthly limits on how many checks you can deposit via a mobile device. For example, there’s generally a maximum of 50 mobile deposits or $15,000, whichever comes first. Most businesses will surpass those limits quickly.
How does it work?
If you’re ready to move beyond your mobile device, talk with your bank about remote deposit capture. Some banks offer a free trial period during which you can evaluate the service and see if it’s worth the expense.
Once you’re signed up, sit back while we get your check scanner hooked up to your computer. Generally you’ll just need to type in the amount of the check, and everything else will be read by the scanner. Scanning is extremely fast, so you can move through a pile of checks quickly – way faster than you could with a mobile device. Professional grade check scanners are also super reliable and have an extremely precise image quality so they're ideal for high-volume remittance processing, lockbox, and back-office/branch capture.
Once the check are scanned, the scanner sends an image of the check to your bank, and the bank collects funds using those images. You'll want to check with your bank regarding how long to hold onto any checks you’ve scanned.
How long does it take to process?
Something else to consider is the time of day you are depositing checks. If you need a little more flexibility (for example, you do a daily deposit every day at 6 p.m.) you might like to hear that one of the main benefits of a remote deposit service is that you can ignore “banking hours.” Most banks allow you to process your checks late into the evening (until 10:00 PM or so in some time zones) to beat that day’s deposit cutoff time, and often, your bank will make funds available to you within one business day.
If you’re above that limit or you’ve decided that your time is worth more than the fee, give remote deposit a try. Contact Valley Office systems today for a more in-depth discussion, or check out our catalog of check scanners here.