Everbank Online Check Deposit Review – FreeNet Checking and Yield Pledge Money Market Accounts

When I first heard about online check deposit a couple years ago, I was pretty excited. I loved the idea of scanning in checks from your home computer any time of day without the hassle of going to the bank or waiting for snail mail. But at the time only few banks offered it like selected credit unions and USAA, both of which had membership restrictions.

I actually forgot about it for a while, until I noticed last week that online bank EverBank started offering it on both their Yield Pledge Money Market and FreeNet Checking accounts. (See post on 1.10% Intro APY at EverBank.) Since I already had an account, I immediately signed up, tried it out, and am now hooked. How about a review for the curious?

Application Process

To be eligible, you must have an existing personal account (see above), and a computer with a TWAIN-compliant scanner (pretty much anything bought within the last five years).

  1. Download the application form and fill it out. Don’t forget to fill out the Security Code at the bottom, as my first form was rejected since I didn’t know what that referred to (had to call customer service).
  2. Fax or mail the form in. I found it amusing that in order to get online check deposit, I had to use a fax machine. Well, not really, you could just use a service like faxzero.com since there is no extra-sensitive information required on the form.
  3. Wait for the welcome e-mail, which should arrive within two business days. The title will be “You can start using Online Check Deposit” and inside will be your new login and temporary password.

Making An Online Deposit

Here’s a flash video with detailed instructions, but it’s really long and slow-paced. Just read this:

  1. Log in to the special website at www.EverBankOnlineDeposit.com. This is not the usual Everbank website, but it checks out legit. Log in with your separate login and password.
  2. Click on the “Make A Deposit” link on the left. A java applet will load. The software will look for attached scanners. Choose the one you wish to use. [screenshot 1]
  3. Scan the front of your check and approve it. [screenshot 2]
  4. Scan the back of your check and approve it. [screenshot 3]
  5. Submit after confirming the deposit details. [screenshot 4]
  6. You’ll receive one e-mail immediately that your deposit was received.
  7. Wait for the e-mail will say it was approved and processed. This should arrive either the same day or next day. At this point, your check is considered deposited, and you are supposed to shred or destroy the physical check.

Other Details

Another advantage is that you can gain access to your funds sooner (and also start earning interest). Here are the details for funds availability. I think I read that any check over $5,000 will still be subject to holds.

Same business day credit for deposits scanned, submitted, and approved before 7 p.m. ET on a business day. Deposits made after 7 p.m. ET or on a non business day will be credited on the next business day. See the Funds Availability section of the Account Terms and Disclosures for information on access to funds.

I got this all to work fine on the first try on a Windows PC, but I could not get it to work on Mac OS X. I called customer service and they indicated that it was common for Macs to have problems with TWAIN drivers. While they said they could help me work through it, it would be a tedious process and may have to be repeated each time I wanted to make a deposit. (Basically, if you have a Windows computer, use it instead.)

In the end, after getting set up the first time it was a total snap. I often hold on to check for days if not weeks until I get around to going to the bank. Now, it just takes a minute. Scan, flip the check over, scan again, and I’m done. If needed, I can even use their free online fund transfers to move the money elsewhere. I can’t believe the mega-banks don’t provide this option already.

Comments

  1. With the online check deposit, there’s no longer a need for a brick-and-mortar bank. There is one potential issue, however. I’ve been told by an EverBank CSR that the daily check limit is $10,000. This may be an issue for those who have to deposit large checks.

  2. Does anyone have any experience with Chase’s iPhone app that allows a check to be deposited by taking a picture with the phone’s camera? It sounds like a great idea, but Bank of America’s app does not yet have that functionality. I’d love to hear from someone who has tried that method as well.

    Jonathan, as always, thanks for the timely and interesting posts.

  3. A list of banks that have some sort of online deposit just popped up in my RSS feeds today:

    http://paperless.wikia.com/wik.....k_Desposit

  4. My credit union allows you to type in the numbers on the check and the deposit is made immediately. You still have to mail the check so they can confirm it’s real eventually. But it’s so nice to have funds immediately, I am surprised this sort of thing isn’t more common.

  5. Jeff Johnson says:

    if anyone uses their digital camera as a scanner like I do (much more control over the image, higher resolution, faster, etc) there are usually TWAIN drivers for your camera that you should be able to use with this application.

  6. This “deposit from home” thing is one feature I’d *really* like to see from my credit union. If they’d add it to their Rewards Checking, I’d be in heaven. Until then, I’ll just soak up the 4+% APY … and hope they see fit to ride the scanned-check wave eventually.

  7. Apparently US Bank will be offering this feature in the future. I just saw the following on their Web site after logging in to my account:
    Make a Deposit Online
    Coming Soon!
    DepositPoint
    Make check deposits electronically using a personal computer and desktop scanner or all-in-one device
    * Make deposits electronically from your home at your convenience
    * Saves time spent driving to the branch or ATM
    * Expanded availability (6:00pm central)
    * Intuitive, user friendly web application available through Internet Banking
    Thank you for your inquiry. Please stay tuned to this page for more exciting information about DepositPoint!

  8. So what is the “security code”? I have everbank too, and I have no idea what that refers to.

  9. Are there any statistics out there on how many people actually use this function? What about iPhone applications I’ve been hearing about, anyone have experience using those?

  10. I’ve been using USAA @Home for the past year or two; it offers similar same-day deposit availability and is a cinch to use (no security code deal like you mention).

    As for why major banks don’t offer it, it’s actually pretty simple: they already have a branch network built. Those banks WANT you to come into their branch, see the promo on home equity loans and take one out (or whatever additional products they might be pushing). The major banks make a lot of their money that way, while most of the online banks (beyond USAA and ING, from what I’ve seen) don’t really offer loan products

  11. Bad idea. A crook can lift your check info from one place, and maybe your signature from another, and with photoshop….

  12. I have been using Everbank for many years now and love the online check deposits!

    I use a Mac and since the last JAVA update it takes a bit longer for the scanner interface to load but no other issues beyond that.

    Its such a pleasure to send in the deposits immediately. Keep the checks around just incase the deposit doesn’t go through, then shred when cleared.

  13. To follow along with MT, another reason banks don’t offer deposit@home and provide the funds so quickly is they get the opportunity to float the money for awhile. My bank also provides the access to my paycheck direct deposit a day earlier than when it ‘officially’ hits.

  14. @Ken – Good to know, I didn’t see that on their site.

    @dave – How interesting that they only offer to iPhone users. Not being an iPhone owner, I don’t have much else to add. Anyone want to write up a review here?

    @yd – Cool link.

    @Roberto – My security code was my city of birth, but I’d call in because I’m not sure it is the same for everyone. It is not your online login password.

    @Eric – Good to know some Macs do work. I admit I didn’t try very hard since it worked on my other computer right away.

    @MT – I suppose, but convenience matters, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to make a deposit into an ATM either.

  15. Steve, checks are already terribly insecure (really, why put your account number in plain text on the face of the check!?). I think what keeps the whole system from falling down is the fact that fraud can be detected much faster these days. That is also the whole purpose of the “security word” and such, even if a crook has your check he probably can’t create an account at Everbank to deposit it. It would actually be much simpler to just put it in the ATM deposit slot.

  16. Do you have to pay anything for this, or is it free?

  17. I was about to close my chase accounts when they rolled out the iphone deposit app. Now, it is the only reason that I have my chase accounts open. It is really convenient.

  18. I use the iphone app for Chase. You can deposit checks very easily.

  19. I use e-Deposit Plus with Alliant CU. It’s very easy to use, and you just have to file the check at home. They also have a version without scanner where you have to mail the check in, but that would cost a stamp, whereas the online version is free.

    Their scanning app only works with Internet Explorer, and I don’t have any problem with it. If you don’t get it to work, you can just send in your own scans that you obtained however you want.

  20. I’ve used the Chase iPhone app to deposit me check last week. First time doing it, and it was quick and simple and painless. I just used the camera to take the picture of the check – front and back- upload it and then it’s done. Chase even sends you a confirmation email.

  21. I have Everbank and Paypal now offer this service. I just used paypal check threw my Iphone it was just a 15.00 check no biggy so well see how it plays out. But with Paypal it takes 6 days. Buyer beware most banks have strict regulations on who can use the service. NOT EVERYONE CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF CHECK AT HOME. I know USAA who i had for years would not let me use check at home,which made me mad. USAA is a Texas internet branch only. I Had checking, saving and insurance with them and still did not quality cause I did not have a credit care or morage with them. ewwwww made me mad. I think Chase is also pretty strict. So its not all that great !!!

  22. Jeffrey Smith says:

    I note that Evergreen now has a $5,000 minimum balance to avoid a monthly $8.95 service charge.

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