Many have written to brag to me that they have not dealt with checks (or cheques) in years, or even decades. They don't write them at all. Pretty amazing to me. But each have admitted that sometimes they do receive checks (or cheques) and that they have a super-technically, ultra-efficient way of handling the disposition of checks (or cheques). Apparently they are able to point their smart phone cameras at the check in question, make a photo of the check and somehow send this information to their banks which are somehow able to intuit what to do with the photographs.
I suspect that this method might require one to place onto their phone something that's called an "app." Which is short form for application. Being able transfer or deposit checks this way on devices that are among the world's most secure devices, on networks known for their high security and unhack-ability is mind-boggling to we few banking muggles. I'd like to try this new method but I have a question or two.
My biggest question might paint me in a somewhat sinister light but I really want to know if it's possible just to use PhotoShop to add a few digits to a check's total in order to boost my income by a bit? Secondly, will I need to print out the check I've photographed, on paper, and then send it via physical mail to the bank?
If I do need to print out the check will I need a special kind of printer or a special kind of paper? Are checks more authentic when printed with, say, a Canon printer versus an Epson printer? And does paper type matter? Is a check better handled on glossy or matte. And, I hope you'll forgive my ignorance on this but if I have to send the photograph of the check via USPS (United States Postal System) why could I not just send the original check along instead?
But here's where the mental gymnastics get a bit trickier. One commenter suggested that after sending the phone-enabled check to the bank via whatever radio waves the phone uses I could then elect to spend the money via some type of card or another. But that brings up the whole question that started this particular thread: What if I would like to receive cash, folding, paper money to put in my pocket as a result of this check deposit? Not ephemeral money in some cloudy online account but legal tender printed by the government? Spendable just about anywhere. At least in the USA.
When I use the "phone app" does the cash/paper money get sent to me by mail, or Federal Express? How long would that take? What if someone steals it from my mailbox? How do I get my hands on the cash?
I guess I could make a photograph of the check with my phone, then print it, then send it to my bank and then get in my car and drive somewhere in town where there might be an ATM (automatic teller machine) that works with my bank, surveil the surroundings to ensure a lack of obvious muggers, enter a plastic card into a slot on the ATM, enter a PIN (personal identification number), navigate to "withdrawals" and then hope the cash money squirts from the machine, rush back to my car, jump in, lock the doors and take off.
Seems like a hell of a lot of work to me for something that should be... convenient.
And if I use an ATM and it has a skimmer on it and my information gets stolen and my account gets "hacked" how much time and energy will I spend trying to get my money restored? Which I guess is preferable to getting robbed at
knifepoint gunpoint (thanks John) while standing in front of an ATM. Right?
So, if a big insurance company sends me a paper check and I can put it in my wallet thinking that my bank is downtown at the intersection of most of my almost daily walks, and on my route could I not, instead, just deviate 25 feet from the path, walk into the bank lobby, hand the check to a warm, happy, conscientious bank teller and have them hand me the folding, paper cash money into my waiting hand with no delay and no risk? Wouldn't that sound pretty good?
I mean, it's not like I need the money to pay bills or anything like that. Goodness no! I do that at home through a service called, "online banking." No, I just thought it would be nice to have some real cash to do things like: tip Skycaps at the airport, drop a few bills into the near empty tip jar next to the surprisingly good street musician, donate some lunch money for an aging homeless fellow on Congress Ave., pay for an inexpensive cup of coffee. Or maybe just for the nostalgia of having some cash in my pockets.
Sadly, the bank where I do most of my larger transactions is in a different state and I generally have to do my transactions with that banking resource via that secret thing I mentioned just above: online banking.
But I've never done a transaction bigger than $200,000 at any one time. And that was to pay off a mortgage. Kind of scary to do that as a "bank transfer" or "wire transfer"; especially something that big but it seemed to work out just fine. Probably easier now since that was about ten years ago.
Now, is there anyone who could step up and help me with my darn VCR (video cassette recorder)? It's very frustrating but after one of the maids accidentally unplugged its electrical connection from the alternating current wall socket it's been acting squirrelly. Now that I have plugged the unit back in it just keeps blinking "12:00" over and over again. I've tried turning it off and on again but it insists on blinking those mysterious numerals. I have heard that there are things called "DVDs" but my son, who works for an A.I. (artificial intelligence) tech start-up tells me that a thing called "streaming" is all the rage now. You can "download" or "stream" movies!!! On demand!!!! But he does tell me that I'll need to progress beyond our dial-up connection in order to take advantage of this new technology.... I wonder if they can just fax the movies to me?
I would mention the reality that I can still, in 2023, get in the car and go to a theater to see a projected movie but I'm sure the same crew of commenters might pooh-pooh that idea as well. After all, Isn't watching a feature film so much better on the screen of an Android phone? I ought to try that sometime. I'm sure it's just as compelling an experience....
But...wait for it......I have just been informed that all not cameras now need to take films. But that's a subject for another post. Or "blog".
Sure wish I'd taken a math course or two at "Uni" instead of wasting time in engineering... I might understand the intricacies of banking better.
With SVB & others going under, it simply isn’t enough to keep your money in a bank account. Better off stuffing it under your bed, or digging a bunker in your backyard. Or maybe a big money safe in the office, aka Scrooge McDuck.
Actually, if your money is in an app on your phone, would it be safer to keep your ph stuffed under said bed, or…
I still have my special pencil that fits inside the wheel of a cassette tape, so I can wind the tape back in when it gets caught in the tape player and I have to gently pull it out.
Ahh the wonders of modern technology.
Sticking with 8 track tapes. Proven tech.
Saving money? Christmas Clubs.
Your personal, real-life, connections with the world around you remind me of this story told by Kurt Vonnegut in an interview (mid-1990s for context). He too treasured the little moments of human interaction that (should) connect us all:
"I work at home, and if I wanted to, I could have a computer right by my bed, and I'd never have to leave it. But I use a typewriter, and afterward I mark up the pages with a pencil. Then I call up this woman named Carol out in Woodstock and say, “Are you still doing typing?” Sure she is, and her husband is trying to track bluebirds out there and not having much luck, and so we chitchat back and forth, and I say, “Okay, I'll send you the pages.” Then I go down the steps and my wife calls, “Where are you going?” “Well,” I say, “I'm going to buy an envelope.” And she says, “You're not a poor man. Why don't you buy a thousand envelopes? They'll deliver them, and you can put them in the closet.” And I say, “Hush.” So I go to this newsstand across the street where they sell magazines and lottery tickets and stationery. I have to get in line because there are people buying candy and all that sort of thing, and I talk to them. The woman behind the counter has a jewel between her eyes, and when it's my turn, I ask her if there have been any big winners lately. I get my envelope and seal it up and go to the postal convenience center down the block at the corner of Forty-seventh Street and Second Avenue, where I'm secretly in love with the woman behind the counter. I keep absolutely poker-faced; I never let her know how I feel about her. One time I had my pocket picked in there and got to meet a cop and tell him about it. Anyway, I address the envelope to Carol in Woodstock. I stamp the envelope and mail it in a mailbox in front of the post office, and I go home. And I've had a hell of a good time. I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different."
by Kurt Vonnegut
Thank you so much John. That was just what I needed and wanted to read right now. Wonderful 😊
Why do you have all these possible threats in an open-carry state? Hasn't Texas taught you anything? Guy threatens you at an ATM and you say, "What? You brought a knife to a gunfight?' You gotta think these things through.
JC, I'm sorry to disappoint you but like many trust funders/bloggers my source of income dried up a while back and I've not been able to afford to buy a proper firearm just now. So I mostly just crouch behind my barricaded door with the lights out hoping everything works out well. Had my eyes on a Colt Python but could only afford a discount taser and that didn't work out well when I tried to use it. ... but I do... love... the random... ellipse.
And the sarcasm flows like Niagara Falls...
Vonnegut knew a thing or two.
I was on a train from Toronto to Montreal in the mid 1980s and was reading one of his novels, can't remember which one. In an aside, he gave the definition of a twerp as someone who farts in the bathtub and tries to smell the bubbles. I laughed out loud and a few people looked at me. Would they ban that in Florida now?
Imo, guvmints hand over too much power to financial types. We've forgotten who is the boss. Society is not a support system for commerce, it's the other way round.
So many things to be addressed.
I'm trying to find a repair guy for my 8 track tape deck in the pickup.
No one seems to know where I can get it worked on.
At the same time my 1926 5x7 Deardoff view camera just keeps on working.
Personally I do deposit checks remotely, to a small acct. And I suspect the security is not much worse than using plastic everywhere all the time. C’est la guerre. And as I pause, to consider other remarks……. Gotta say, like talking, ellipses inhale and exhale.
I've heard of something called "two-factor identification." After using your digital optical radiophone to take a picture of the check, the bank sends you a telegram by Western Union to confirm that it was really you. Something like that, anyway.
Feeling better now, Kirk?
Always concerned about your wellbeing,
Maybe Amazon can deliver the cheque to the bank by drone along with their morning coffee and muffins. Maybe Uber can drive it to the bank. Are there still bicycle couriers?
I've dealt with a fair number of banking fraud/identity theft cases as well as done quite a bit of data security work. As a result, I still use paper checks - the law as regards checks and fraud provides clearer consumer protection. Not every "innovation" is an improvement.
Dear Joe, Thank you, thank you, thank you. It's the same reason I refuse to use debit cards. Less consumer protection. More risk.
In Australia the first of the big 4 banks has stopped having cash in their branches.
It'll happen everywhere...
All the best, Mark
I assume the ammo vending machines in Texas only take cash?
Highly unlikely they would be set up to sell to anyone using Applepay on an iPhone.
Well, if you have a church sponsored credit card the machines work just fine...
Hi Kirk, One of the things I love about your blog is the amusing back and forth banter in the comments. Your answer to anonymous has me bent over with laughter.
Thanks Jon, Gotta laugh at some stuff. People forget that I don't really live in Texas; I live in Austin. It's different. It's always voted (and acted) blue. We have the actual moral high ground...
OMG. Just deposited a check with my iPhone. So exciting.
Post a Comment