Last October, ING Direct debuted a beta version of Cheque-In, which allowed users to take a picture of the front and back of their cheque with an iPhone and have the money directly deposited into their account.
A survey commissioned by ING last year found that over half of Canadians (55%) deposit at least one cheque per month to their bank account, either by depositing it in an ABM (71%), bringing it to a branch (41%) or mailing it to their bank (1%).
“We are excited that many of our clients with iPhones can now benefit from the ability to deposit cheques using their phones. This is yet another proof point of how mobile banking innovation and technology is useful and relevant for Canadians,” said Peter Aceto, president and CEO of ING Direct Canada, at the time. “The Cheque-In process is a safe, reliable way for iPhone users to deposit their cheques quickly, and without the hassle of going to a bank branch or ATM.”
Now the feature is available to all users. And while credit union Westminster Savings beat ING to the punch on a full rollout, ING is the first bank to do it. Cheque-in is available on iOS, Android, BlackBerry 10, and Windows 8 tablets.
“Security in banking is a natural concern for Canadians, particularly when new features and platforms are introduced. Our aim, first and foremost, is to protect our clients and their money, and we’ve implemented several features to ensure our Clients’ accounts are secure when it comes to mobile and social banking,” said Charaka Kithulegoda, ING Direct’s Chief Information Officer. “We recognize that consumers expect options and choices when it comes to banking, and our new Facebook app is another way we are making managing, tracking and saving money more accessible and convenient.”
According to the Canadian Payments Association (CPA), Canadian businesses and consumers write close to four million cheques on average every business day. Each cheque is physically handled multiple times as it moves throughout the clearing and settlement system.
“Modernizing Canada’s payments system is a key focus for the Canadian Payments Association,” says Gerry Gaetz, the CPA’s CEO. “We are facilitating the use of image technology to make the cheque clearing process more efficient. Using the CPA’s comprehensive legal and operational framework for imaging, Canadian financial institutions can now develop and offer new image-based products and services, such as remote deposit capture, to their customers.
The US began clearing cheques electronically in 2004. Now, nearly 25 billion cheques deposited in the US each year are cleared electronically.