I use USAA for my bank, and I probably always will. For one thing, they're a non-profit organization, which renders them immune to a lot of the BS that got so many banks in trouble recently. For another, they stay firmly ahead of new social and technology trends. Three years ago they started offering at-home depositing via the use of a scanner. Now they've taken things one step further..
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The New York Times announced today that USAA made another update to its iPhone banking application. Now all users have to do is take a snapshot of the front and back of their check. Once the images clear and the check is deposited, the user can rip up the check and be done with it. It's as simple as that.
Before you get jealous, USAA has plans to release applications for other smartphone brands in the near future as well. This is wonderful news for the future of banking. So far, other banks have hesitated to follow in USAA's online-depositing footsteps. But, now that a smartphone app is out, they're going to be forced to create competing apps. Being able to deposit checks on-the-go, wherever you are, is incredibly useful. Everyone will want that ability.
This is a perfect sign of the sort of enhanced convenience that the digital revolution is supposed to bring to our lives. Smartphone depositing means no standing in line to wait for a teller, no paperwork to fill out, and no real hassle at all. It makes life a little less stressful, and it costs nothing. Kudos to USAA for being the first bank to make it work.