Mobile Check Deposits vs. ATM Deposits

Hand using phone to take photo of check for mobile deposit
••• Vstock LLC / Getty Images

There are various methods of depositing checks. An in-person deposit with the bank teller lets you instantly access your newly deposited funds. Alternatively, although depositing your check at an ATM or via the mobile app may save you a trip to the bank, this may trigger extra wait time before the bank processes the check and makes the funds available to you.

The Benefits of Mobile Deposits

Convenience

One may transact at any time, in any place, without the worry of crowded parking lots and long bank lines.

Accuracy

Remote deposits let customers verify data entry, which provides greater peace of mind than dealing with ATMs, which can errantly read checks with faulty character recognition software. On rare occasions when mobile banking errors occur, customers still possess the physical check, allowing them to visit a branch and correct the mistake. This may be favorable to dealing with ATMs, which can damage checks.

Speed

Mobile phone banking generally affords you quick access to your funds than ATMs. Why? Because with ATM deposits, a banker may have to retrieve checks from the machine, then manually digitize them. However, some advanced model ATMs can instantly create an image of your check. With a mobile deposit, your checks are immediately digitized.

Quick Confirmation

Remote deposits are usually expeditiously confirmed with an email. And while ATMs also offer confirmation receipts, it could take several days for someone to remove checks from the machine and process them, unless the check is digitized and processed right away.

The Benefits of ATM Deposits

While remote deposits offer unique advantages, ATM deposits are favorable in certain situations.

Cashback

If you need instant cash, and you have no money in your account already, you may be able to get some cash immediately after depositing checks at an ATM, however, that amount may be restricted to a percentage of the check's total amount. But it's important to note there may be stiff penalties if a check bounces after deposit.

Multiple Deposits

If you wish to deposit multiple checks simultaneously, most ATMs simplify transactions by accepting multiple checks at one time. But with remote deposits, it may be labor-intensive to scan and process each check, one by one.

The Balance does not provide tax, investment, or financial services and advice. The information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal.

Article Sources

  1. Wells Fargo. "Mobile Deposit Questions: When Will My Mobile Deposit Be Available?" Accessed Feb. 12, 2020.

  2. Wells Fargo. "Mobile Deposit Questions: How Does Mobile Deposit Work?" Accessed Feb. 12, 2020.

  3. Wells Fargo. "Consumer Account Fee and Information Schedule." Page 48. Accessed Feb. 12, 2020.

  4. Bank of America. "ATM & ATM FeesFAQs: Making Deposits at the ATM: How Many Checks Can I Deposit at One Time?" Accessed Feb. 12, 2020.