This week I dropped off some Christmas presents for the grandchildren to my parents and they paid me back the cost by writing me a cheque. This gave me the perfect opportunity to test the relatively new ability to deposit a cheque using a photo and the PC Financial Mobile Banking App.
The first thing I had to do was get the App for my husband’s iPad and install it. Then I cruised through all the deposit-specific legal conditions. Then I took a photo of my cheque and tried to deposit it. Here’s how it went.
What Kinds of Cheques Can I Deposit Using the PCF App?
According to their legal stuff, you can deposit
- bank money orders
- bank drafts
- convenience cheques, and
- certified cheques
They all have to be written based on a financial institution that’s in Canada. So if you get a cheque from a US bank or company you will still have to go to the bank to deposit it.
You can only deposit a cheque made payable to more than one person into an account held jointly by all of those people.
Can I Deposit a Post-Dated Cheque Using the PC Financial App?
How Is It Different from Depositing a Cheque to Tangerine?
Well, according to the Legal info, you have to write on the back of the cheque: “For deposit only, account # ______” and signing your name. I’m not thrilled about this because if the cheque gets rejected by PC Financial’s photo deposit team I now have extra stuff written on my cheque and I’d have to take it to a CIBC machine or a PC Financial machine.
You also, theoretically, are supposed to *immediately* write “paid” or “void” or draw parallel lines across the front of the cheque immediately after transmission of an image of the cheque. That one I doubt anyone will comply with. What if the image transmission fails? How are you supposed to deposit a cheque marked Void or Paid or scratched out?! I want some kind of confirmation that the cheque has been properly accepted before I deface my cheque.
This is particularly important given their own terms go on to say:
“…the paying financial institution [may] determine[s] the item …. is illegible, or is otherwise unacceptable. We are not responsible for images that are corrupted or not fully received during transmission.” And “You are responsible for any and all costs associated with obtaining a replacement negotiable item in the event that we request you re-transmit an image, and the original item was destroyed or lost.”
How Secure is Sending a Photo of a Cheque to PC Financial?
Well it’s a bit disquieting to read in their Legal section
“You accept the risk that an item may be intercepted or misdirected during transmission. We have no liability to you or others for any such intercepted or misdirected item or information disclosed through such errors.”
Call me “Danger-Seeking” but I’m still going to try it…..
How to Get the PC Financial Mobile Banking App for iPads and iPhones
- Go to the Apps Store.
- Look for the PC Financial Mobile Banking app.
- Tap on the Get button.
- Tap on the Install button.
- Type in your iTunes password and tap on OK.
- Tap on the Open button.
The seriously ugly PC Financial Mobile Banking App sign in screen will open. If you’re like me, it will open sideways instead of properly oriented on my screen. Not sure what’s up with that.
Next I wanted to try to deposit the cheque into our joint PC Financial no fee chequing account.
How to Deposit a Cheque Using the PC Financial Banking App
- Find your actual bank account number, not your bank card number, for the account into which you want to deposit the money.
- Tap on the PCF Banking icon.
- In the Card number field, type your PC Financial banking card number.
- In the Password field, type the password you use for online banking.
- On the next screen, look for the tab “Deposit” across the top of the page.
Tap on Deposit.
- Tap on the Info link at the top right side of the Step 1 Deposit Details section. Read through the info.
And there it is again:
“Prior to deposit, you should endorse the back of the item by writing or stamping ‘For deposit only, account # _______’ and signing your name.”
So I wrote the required information and endorsed the cheque.
After going back to the Step 1 Deposit Details page
Front of Cheque
- Under the heading Front of Cheque, tap on the Take Photo button.
- Tap OK.
- Tap on the Camera icon.
- If it’s ok, tap on Use.
Back of Cheque
- Under the heading Back of Cheque, tap on the Take Photo button.
- Tap OK.
- Tap on the Camera icon.
- If it’s ok, tap on Use.
- If not, tape on Retake until you get an image for which you can tap on Use.
- In the Amount: $ field, type the amount for the cheque.
- In the To: field, select the account to deposit the cheque into from the drop-down list.
- Tap on Continue.
- Tap on Deposit.
If It Works
- You will receive a message similar to this one:
Your cheque for $999 999.99 will be deposited to your no fee bank account (12345678910) on Dec 1, 2014.
Reference # ABC123
Make some kind of secure note of the Reference # in case the process fails!
- Tap on Deposit More or View Accounts.
- Tap on Sign Out.
- Tap on OK.
- Turn off your iPad.
When Can I Get Rid of the Original Paper Cheque?
You must hold on to the paper cheque for at least 5 business days according to PC Financial’s Legal page.
What Did I Think of the PC Financial Online Banking App Photo Cheque Deposit?
Like with the Tangerine App, I found it a bit slow to compose a photo with no shadows, no distortion, no anything using a heavy iPad camera.
I was very annoyed when the PCF App suddenly signed me out for “inactivity” while I was trying to retake the photo of the back of the cheque! I had to sign in and start all over again.
Overall, it seems fine, but let’s wait and see if the cheque gets properly deposited and clears my parents’ bank ok. I’ll add an update when it does.
- How to Deposit a Cheque By Taking a Photo Using the Tangerine App
- How to Look at Your Cashed Cheques for Free at PC Financial
Have you deposited a cheque this way yet at Tangerine, CIBC or PC Financial? Did it work for you? Please share your experiences with a comment.