Mobile Deposits: What Do I Do with Checks After They’re Deposited?

Technology has made depositing a check easier than ever. Gone are the days of driving to the bank and waiting in line just to get your money into your account. With the push of a button, your bank receives a picture of your check and the money appears in your account shortly after. 

However, convenience doesn’t come without risk. Correctly handling your paper check after deposit can save you from a banking blunder. 

Wait Five Days

When you make a mobile deposit, the money doesn’t immediately show up in your account. Before the money clears, your bank needs to verify the information on your check and confirm that it’s legitimate. 

Sometimes, this process meets with issues. There could be a problem with the check itself. And when you’re relying on technology, there’s always the potential for something to go wrong. You might encounter an issue with the banking app or the images you submitted. 

When there’s a problem with your mobile deposit, it’s harder to get the money into your account if you throw out the check before it has been fully processed. 

The usual suggestion is to hold onto the check for five business days. Your banking app should specify how long to keep the check, so some banks might recommend a longer wait time.

Keep It Safe

While you’re waiting on the check to clear, keep it in a safe place. A good option is with your other sensitive financial information, like your checkbook, bank statements, and tax returns. 

To avoid any confusion, write “mobile deposit” and the date of your deposit directly on the check. If your mobile deposit is rejected for any reason, it’s helpful to know the exact date you attempted to make the deposit. 

This can also save you from future confusion if you forget about the check and find it later in your files. If this happens, you’ll see the memo you wrote, and know it’s safe to dispose of the check. Otherwise, you might waste time trying to figure out if the check needs to be deposited or if it’s still even valid. 

Proper Disposal Is Important

If the money from the check appears in your account without issue and the recommended wait time has passed, it’s safe to dispose of the check. Take care to do this properly.

The information on a check can usually only be used to put money into your account. This means that even if the check falls into the wrong hands, there shouldn’t be too much concern for your banking security. However, it’s still highly recommended that you destroy the check before tossing it in the trash. 

There have been incidents in which a thrown-away check has been found and re-cashed – with the financial loss coming back to the rightful owner. First writing “mobile deposit” on the check and then destroying the check are two ways to help protect yourself from falling victim to this rare but possible situation. 

Safety First

Following safe banking practices has a few benefits: you keep your money safe, you avoid situations resulting in theft and fraud, and you reduce the hassle of resolving an issue when something goes wrong. 

With best practices in place, mobile deposit checks can continue to be a safe and convenient way to manage money with confidence.