Tag Archives | Banking

PayPal’s iPhone Check Deposit: It Works!

PayPal added check deposit capabilities to its iPhone app on Wednesday, and hey, I just got a check in the mail. Let’s see how PayPal handles the job.

Before you start, PayPal hits you with a bunch of disclaimers. You’ve got to keep the check for 15 days, just to make sure nothing goes wrong, and you can’t deposit more than $1,000 per day or $3,000 per month. So if your employer cuts checks instead of offering direct deposit, PayPal might not be able to handle your earnings. PayPal’s deposit feature seems best-suited for those nagging little checks that aren’t worth the effort of going to a bank.

Depositing a check through PayPal is simple enough. Under the “tools” section, you press “Add Money From Checks,” and then snap a photo of the check’s front and back sides. Then, you must enter in the amount of the check. (Or, at least I did. The handwriting on my check was a little messy, so I’m not sure whether PayPal ever tries to guess the amount, like some smart ATMs.)

Deposits take roughly six business days to show up in your account, PayPal says. Unfortunately, there’s no option to automatically pass the check on to your bank account. You’ve got to transfer it yourself, which usually takes another three or four business days.

Ideally, my own bank, Bank of America, would offer check deposits through its iPhone app. Chase and State Farm Bank already do, and USAA supports deposits the iPhone and Android phones. If you’re not a customer of those banks, and you’ve got an iPhone, PayPal provides a decent workaround as long as you don’t need the cash right away.


Rocky Mountain Bank: Rocky, Rocky Security!

Gmail in courtMediaPost is reporting that Rocky Mountain Bank, a small institution in Wyoming, accidentally e-mailed the names, Social Security numbers, addresses, and loan information to a Gmail address. When it realized its mistake, it e-mailed the address again and got no response–so it went to court, and a California appellate court judge has told Google that it must deactivate the Gmail address in question. Even though nobody’s accused the e-mail recipient of doing anything wrong.

MediaPost’s story leaves multiple obvious questions unaddressed, so I’m cautious about expressing any opinion at all about this story. The biggest one: Does anyone know who the Gmail account belongs to, and has anyone made any attempt to contact its owner other than Rocky Mountain’s initial e-mail? Do we know that the recipient is using the account at all? Do we know who this person is?

The temptation to heap scorn upon District Court Judge James Ware is obvious, but I’m most appalled by the reported initial actions of Rocky Mountain Bank. Why was anyone there e-mailing Social Security numbers to anyone? The company has a security statement on its site explaining the measures it takes to protect customers’ Social Security numbers, but I find no acknowledgement of this Gmail incident. (“Dear customer: We accidentally leaked your private information to a random stranger, and we’re not sure what he or she is doing with it. Our apologies, etc., etc.”)

While I was rummaging around the Rocky Mountain site hoping to find useful information, I clicked on the Letter From CEO link, and got this:

Rocky Mountain Bank

Doesn’t exactly inspire vast amounts of confidence, does it?