I have seen many innovative iPhone apps in the past few years. The iPhone developer community is always coming up with new ideas to provide value to iPhone holders. These days, iPhone owners are looking for more than just flashy games. The iPhone and its SDK allow developers to come up with almost any app but the latest USAA app could be a game changer. iPhone owners can now use their device to deposit checks to their bank accounts without having to leave their home or send their checks in. The concept is simple, but it surely does give us a glimpse of where things are headed in the next few years.
So here is how the app works. All you have to do is use your phone’s camera to take a photograph of your checks and send them to USAA. The bank will then take care of the rest without having you come to a branch or mail your checks in. Here is what USAA officials had to say about this cool application:
We’re essentially taking an image of the check, and once you hit the send button, that image is going into our deposit-taking system as any other check would
The ramifications of this move are exciting. USAA may not be the largest bank in the world, but it’s good to see a financial company innovate to compete with the big boys. This sector has been slow in adopting technologies such as Web 2.0 in the past, but USAA’s move could give larger financial institution some ideas on how to make the whole banking experience more convenient for their customers. At this point, it’s hard to tell whether a large bank can use a similar mechanism to handle deposits. There are a few risks and problem areas that banks need to address before going completely electronic with deposits. At the same time, the cost saving opportunity should encourage more financial institution to come up with similar solutions. Mobile is the future, and we are already getting a glimpse of that not so distant future.