I recently bought a new smart phone running on the Android platform. My old cell phone was over 3 years old, and finally starting to wear down. I’m very happy with he upgrade – I went from a cell phone with minimal internet capability (basically enough to check e-mail and sports scores), to what is essentially a mini-computer in my pocket. I got an HTC Evo, which is an awesome phone.
One of the cool features about the Android phones is the ability to download apps, which are basically small programs that run on your phone. USAA offers a free app for Android phones, as well as one each for the iPhone and iPad (read a USAA iPad app review for more info).
USAA Android App
The Android app is a great way to access your USAA account while at home or on the go. In fact, since I got my new phone, I have found myself using it to access my USAA account more frequently than booting up my computer. It’s faster and the app is streamlined, giving users the ability to access their general account, pay bills, transfer funds, start an insurance claim, access USAA Auto Circle and USAA Home Circle, and my new favorite, USAA Deposit@Mobile, which gives you the ability to deposit a check with your cell phone. Talk about cool!
USAA Deposit@Mobile on Android
USAA already offers this feature for home computers under the name Deposit@Home. The premise is the same. With the home version, you scan the front and back your check (after you endorse it with your signature and account number). Then you send the scanned photo and amount of the check and the USAA software verifies the information on the check and deposits it into your account. The process is quick and much faster than mailing the check in, since the funds are usually available the same day. Check it out on YouTube:
But believe it or not, USAA Deposit@Mobile is even faster and easier than Deposit@Home since it basically removes a step from the process. Instead of having to scan the check, then save and upload the photo to your USAA account, you simply take a picture of the front of your check, then endorse the back of the check, take another picture, then click submit. USAA then informs you whether or not the picture quality was good enough and whether or not it was accepted.
The first time I tried I didn’t have the check on a dark background and I had to take another picture (this was clearly stated in the instructions. I just used a medium color background). I didn’t have any troubles after I switched to a dark background.
Once your deposit is accepted you will receive a confirmation number and your funds will be available to you. Users are also instructed to write VOID across the front of the check in large lettering, or to destroy the check.
Here is the main difference between USAA Deposit@Mobile and Deposit@Home: with Deposit@Home you will have a digital copy of your check. It’s probably a good idea to keep a copy of these for your records. With USAA Deposit@Mobile, your phone doesn’t keep a record of the photo. Since the photo isn’t stored, you need to either take another photo, scan it into your computer, or keep a physical copy if you want to maintain a copy for your records.
A couple notes about USAA Deposit@Mobile and Deposit@Home: Not all USAA members are eligible for Deposit@Home and Deposit@Mobile. You must have a USAA checking or savings account and:
- Have an active USAA property and casualty insurance policy and be qualified for a USAA loan or credit card (not a USAA Secured Card), OR
- Be eligible for USAA property and casualty insurance and have an active USAA loan or credit card (not a USAA Secured Card).
In addition to meeting eligibility requirements, you will need to have an iPhone or iPad running the , or an Android capable phone or tablet with the right hardware. You can download the USAA apps here:
USAA also offers apps for the iPad, Windows 7, Blackberry, and other platforms. The Deposit@Mobile is currently only available for the iPhone and Android platforms, but my guess is the iPad app will be added soon, since the iPad 2 now features a camera.
Overall, I’m more than pleased with the USAA Android App, and I’m seriously loving the Deposit@Mobile feature. It simplifies my banking life and makes my money available to me more quickly. Win-win-win.