Making Bank Deposits Without Slips or Envelopes

A man holding a check book
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There used to be a time where you had to place checks into deposit envelopes in order to feed them through an ATM

National and regional banks across the country now use machines with scanning technology where there is no longer a reason to fill out time-consuming deposit slips or search for a deposit envelope.

How ATM Transactions Without Deposit Envelopes Work

ATMs employ scanning technology to detect the value of cash bills by reading the surface. Similarly, the machine can scan the account information and dollar amount from the face of checks.

Cash and checks are separated into stacks and fed into designated slots of the ATM for deposit. There’s no need to scan each bill or check individually, although the initial process is similar to inserting a bill into a change machine. The ATMs can handle stacks of several bills or checks at a time.

Why It’s Easier

You may remember the frustration of waiting in line at the branch ATM behind someone who hadn’t yet filled out his or her deposit slip. With ATMs that use scanning technology, deposit slips are a thing of the past. No more frantic searching around the machine trying to find the hidden location for deposit envelopes.

Scanning technology reads the information from your bank debit card to properly credit the items scanned to your account. Once you get the hang of it, the process is much faster for you as the customer, and for the banks, human error, and manpower are reduced at the end of the night. Anytime there’s one less form for customers to fill out, it’s generally a good thing for all parties involved.


Always, always get a receipt after making an ATM bank deposit and hang onto it. Yes, it can be a pain to wait for the machine to spit it out when you’re in a hurry, but think of the receipt as insurance.

Keeping a copy of the ATM receipt is helpful for personal record keeping, but can also safeguard you in the event the machine or computer system makes a mistake. Many of the new ATMs offer a receipt option which shows an image of the checks deposited. Pick this option if possible to ensure you have a physical copy of the checks.

If there are any discrepancies between the amount deposited to the ATM and the amount credited to your account, contact the bank immediately. Those receipts may prove to be invaluable in the unlikely event of a misread check or bill.

Checks No Longer Returned 

On October 28, 2003, the 108th United States Congress enacted the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act, a law known as  (A United States federal law, Pub. L. 108–100) to allow banks to create a digital version of an original check.

This law eliminated the need for recipient banks to be dependent on other banks since transactions could now be settled with images instead of paper. Recipient banks no longer return the paper check but instead, an image of both sides of the check is e-mailed to the bank that issued the original check.