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".