The best news to come out of prepaid cards this summer is the arrival of remote deposit.
With remote deposit, often called mobile deposit, card holders can deposit checks with their smart phones. The process is simple. The user takes a picture of a check with a phone that has a mobile banking app.
The ability to deposit a check on a phone makes a difference because it saves so much money for the people that choose to use it. Remote deposit lets a person skip the process of cashing and check and then buying a load. Suddenly, a chore that used to cost $5 to $10 is now free.
BB&T and Chase added remote deposit to their MoneyAccount and Liquid cards earlier this year. A spokesperson for Chase told me that since they introduced the QuickDeposit mobile deposit feature, cardholders have deposited $4 billion on to their cards.
Other big banks have not followed yet. Regions says that they intend to have it on their prepaid cards by next year.
Customer service at PNC (“Adam”) seemed irritated by the question – ” “If you want an account that can do all of these things, let me ask, then why do you want a prepaid card?…a prepaid card shouldn’t do all of that.” PNC does not have remote deposit on its prepaid cards.
Fine, but a prepaid card can do it.
Last year, Synergistics reported that 36 percent of unbanked consumers were aware of remote deposit. Five of every six people who understood the term said that they thought it was a valuable service.