Bank of America Working for Apple
NEW YORK ( BankingMyWay) -- For some pretty stodgy companies -- often seen as being out of step with younger Americans -- the big banks are laboring to show how cool they are when it comes to mobile services. The Wall Street financial war chests are stockpiling press releases about new mobile offerings in a race not unlike the way in which the White House and Kremlin once stockpiled nuclear warheads to prove supremacy.
And why shouldn't they be in a mobile arms race?
A major 2012 study from the Federal Reserve shows that 87% of the U.S. population owns a mobile phone. What's more, 44% of those devices are smart phones -- defined as "Internet-enabled." And 21% of smart phone users have used mobile banking in the past year.
Cue Bank of America (BAC) .
It's taking a major step in making its mobile banking services more convenient to customers, with a new service that offers mobile check deposit. The bank rolled out the new feature in July and the staggered launch has continued in August, for the following devices (with dates):
Mobile check deposit allows customers to transmit an electronic image of a check via the camera feature embedded in smart phones.
Mobile banking platforms do vary from bank to bank, but by and large, most smart phones apps have a "deposit check" feature that allows consumers to pop in the check amount, select the proper account, and snap a photo of the front and back of the check to deposit a check.
Bank of America says that checks can be deposited anywhere where there's an internet connection, and that the bank will send a confirmation to the mobile device once the check has been deposited. There is no fee for the deposit.
The Bank of America mobile check deposit feature does have some deposit limits, depending on the consumer's time with the bank, and the account type. Here's a breakdown:
For consumers, mobile check deposit is all about convenience -- the banks are smart enough to know that.
"Our customers are living in a more connected world and that extends to their financial lives. This 'always-on' environment calls for more convenience, control and flexibility, and we are providing it," said Aditya Bhasin, a consumer marketing executive at Bank of America. "Our new capabilities deliver the full bank in our customers' hands."