If ING Direct has its way, consumers will be able to deposit cheques through their smartphone.
How is this possible you ask? Well, it's not. It's not physically viable, nor is it legally feasible. But ING is testing a program that brings us incredibly close.
This remote cheque deposit feature, called Cheque-In, allows clients—currently a beta round of 500 mobile users—to take a picture of the front and back of their cheque with an iPhone and have the money directly deposited into their account. Unfortunately, due to current federal legislation, the cheques still have to be mailed within 14 days.
So the pysical problem is solved—cheques effectively become digital photos—but the legal obstacle remains. Still, even if the law were not to adapt to Cheque-In's process, the feature would at least offer the convenience of an instant cheque deposit without the immediate need to visit a bank or mailbox.
A recent survey commissioned by ING found that over half of Canadians (55%) deposit at least one cheque per month to their bank account, either by depositing it in an ABM (71%), bringing it to a branch (41%) or mailing it to their bank (1%).
“We are excited that many of our clients with iPhones can now benefit from the ability to deposit cheques using their phones. This is yet another proof point of how mobile banking innovation and technology is useful and relevant for Canadians,” said Peter Aceto, president and CEO of ING Direct Canada. “The Cheque-In process is a safe, reliable way for iPhone users to deposit their cheques quickly, and without the hassle of going to a bank branch or ATM.”
ING has also released a new Facebook app that allows clients read-only access to account balances, account history, pending transactions, alerts and interest rates without having to leave Facebook. All communication between the Facebook app and the ING DIRECT account is secured and encrypted, and no data is stored on Facebook.
“Security in banking is a natural concern for Canadians, particularly when new features and platforms are introduced. Our aim, first and foremost, is to protect our clients and their money, and we’ve implemented several features to ensure our Clients’ accounts are secure when it comes to mobile and social banking,” said Charaka Kithulegoda, ING Direct's Chief Information Officer. “We recognize that consumers expect options and choices when it comes to banking, and our new Facebook app is another way we are making managing, tracking and saving money more accessible and convenient.”
Scotiabank acquired ING Direct earlier this year for $3.1 billion.