Beat the queues (and closing branches) by depositing a cheque with a mobile banking app.
Last week I got a cheque. I can’t remember the last time I was given one. Suffice to say they’re pretty rare nowadays. But it did give me a chance to try out an online banking feature I’ve been unable to use before.
Since late 2017, some banks have used cheque imaging software to scan your cheques using the banking apps on your phone. It’s not had a massive take-up, possibly because they aren’t many cheques sent, but it’s a handy feature for those too busy to head to a bank at lunchtime or perhaps have seen their local branch close down.
How to pay in a cheque with your banking app
If your bank has the feature (you can see a list of the banks that do and significant banks that don’t below), then it’s a similar process with each one.
You first take a photo of the front of the picture using the app. And once that’s gone through, you take a picture of the back – even if it’s completely blank!
The phone must be completely flat above the cheque, which must also be flat. You need to get the corners lined up to markers on the phone screen. And even if you nail this, it might not be enough. When I tried it with Halifax it took about seven attempts to get the front to scan. But it only took me a minute or two in total – far quicker than heading out to the bank and queuing up.
You should see the money in your account by the end of the next working day, as long as you pay it in before a cut-off time (which varies by bank). Of course, make sure you keep the cheque until it has cleared just in case it’s rejected.
Banks where you can pay in cheques with your phone
These are the only banks I can find which offer this feature.
I found the feature in the “More” tab at the bottom of the app. There’s is a maximum cheque value of £500 and a daily limit of £1,000.
I wasn’t able to try the feature on my Barclays account as it’s being rolled out to customers – and I’m not one of them! If it’s there, you’ll find it on the Pay & Transfer tab. You can pay in a maximum of four cheques every seven days, and a cheque can’t be for more than £500.
Lloyds’s pay-in via the app feature operates exactly the same way as Halifax.
HSBC has a maximum cheque value of £500 and a daily limit of £750. You can find the feature in the “Move Money” section of the app.
B (from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks)
The App for a B account, from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, allows cheques up to £500 as long as they weren’t signed more than six months ago. You’ll find it via the menu in the top right-hand corner.
Bank of Scotland
Bank of Scotland is another where the app works in exactly the same way as Halifax’s.
Banks where you can’t pay in a cheque with your phone
Some of the notable banks which don’t have this feature.
Monzo and Starling
You’d think these two smartphone-based banks would have this same feature – but they don’t. As the feature isn’t used much, they’ve decided to focus on other things, for now at least.
Since they don’t have any branches you can pop in to, you’ll actually have to post any cheques in! Both, however, have Freepost addresses for this so you don’t need to fork out for a stamp. But this does mean it can take a while. The Monzo website says it can be three weeks before you see the money in your account.
If you can’t get to any of these banks to pay in a cheque, you can head to your Post Office and deposit it there. However, all they’ll do is post it on for you so it can take a while to clear.