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PayPal Strikes Gold on iPhone "Deposit-By-Picture" feature

updated 08:30 pm EDT, Fri October 8, 2010

iPhone app updated, takes in $100,000 overnight

A new feature in the iOS PayPal app's latest version is surprising the company with its popularity. Just 36 hours after it launched v2.7 -- adding the ability to "deposit" checks merely by taking a picture of the front and back -- the company has seen deposits exceed $100,000.

After agreeing to certain terms and conditions, users can choose the new "Add Money From Checks" tool and photograph the front and back of checks they receive, then the money will be added (after a hold period of approximately six business days) into their existing PayPal account. Users must retain the physical check for at least 15 business days, but after that can simply destroy the document (shredding recommended for security purposes) or file it.

PayPal was not first to market with such a feature for mobile users, but their large userbase and strong start seems to indicate that the option is still new to tech-savvy consumers and that there is pent-up demand for such a service (which has been available to businesses for some time). While reviewers on the App Store complain about the long delay in clearing, the convenience is apparently a factor for users too busy to stop by a bank to make deposits.

The feature (powered by BankServ) and the app are free. PayPal v2.7 requires an iOS device running 3.1 or higher.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Fraud much?

    Holy cow, assigning the same value to an "image" of a bearer instrument as to the instrument itself is insane! Good luck with that! Anyone who has had a bad experience with PayPal should warn people to read the small print on the conditions of use for this service very carefully indeed. It won't be PayPal who loses in a fraud situation, I'm guessing they can claw back the money at any time in the future, whether they actually have the right to or not.

  1. myramoki

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Fraud much?

    You do know that the banks actually process your check by scanning it don't you? All your doing is eliminating the scanning portion for them. USAA in particular has had this option for 4-5 years on their website and as far as I know they were the first people to bring it to the mobile space with their iPhone app. I haven't had to mail a check into them for a long time now. Saves me time, saves them money, total win.

    6 days to clear does seem a little excessive to me though, but this is PayPal afterall. They don't get really high marks for their policies in my book either.

  1. Integr8d

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nothing new here...

    I've been depositing checks by scanning the front and back for five years. The same bank has had this feature, in their app, on iPhone for at least a year.

  1. Integr8d

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sorry myramoki

    I could've just read your post and kept my mouth shut :) USAA ftw!

    You did leave out that we have our funds immediately available. And that freaking rocks too...

    As for Paypal, that company is squirrely at best. The fact that they're owned by eBay and the way eBay forces you to use their overpriced service makes me take a hard look at the woman that wants to be the next Cali governor.

  1. maxk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Strikes Gold?

    100K is a "strong start" for Paypal with "their large userbase"? OK, how many IT guys who decided to deposit their monthly salaries does it take to reach 100K in total? 10? Wow!

  1. kukaduro

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Iphone PayPal deposits disappeared without notice

    I was thrilled by the deposit by an iPhone feature and used it repeatedly until two checks at two different occasions were dropped, disappeared after a positive confirmation of the acceptance. Customer service - after contacting them - informed me that they are not aware of the checks. I am so done with this iPhone deposits. It was a very disappointing experience.

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