Depositing a cheque with your mobile device

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

How to deposit a cheque with your mobile device

You can deposit a cheque into your account from anywhere by taking a picture of it using an app on your smart phone or tablet. Many financial institutions in Canada now offer this service. This process is known as a remote or electronic deposit.

The process is simple. Start by downloading your financial institution's official banking app. You can find a link on their official website or from your mobile device’s app store.

Follow the instructions on your banking app to deposit your cheque.

Common steps include:

  • logging in to your app
  • selecting the option to deposit a cheque
  • taking a picture of the front and back of the cheque
  • confirming the details of your deposit
  • storing your cheque until it has cleared

The process is secure and your financial information is not stored on your device.

Learn more about paying by cheque.

Learn about online banking.

What to expect when depositing a cheque with your mobile device

Be aware of eligibility, hold periods and fees as they may differ from in-branch banking.

Eligible cheques

Check with your financial institution or your account agreement to see which cheques you can deposit using electronic deposit.

Cheques that are eligible can include those that are:

  • made out to you
  • made out to a person you have a joint account with
  • issued by any level of government in Canada

Be sure that you use the original version of the cheque, not a photocopy, PDF or printout and that the cheque hasn’t already been deposited.

Money orders, bank drafts, certified cheques and travelers cheques may also be eligible for electronic deposit. Check with your financial institution.

Hold periods

Hold periods for cheques at banks and other federally regulated financial institutions may apply to electronic cheque deposits.

Ask your financial institution when funds from a mobile cheque deposit will be available.

Learn about cheque hold periods.

Deposit fees

Depending on the type of account you have, your financial institution may charge a fee to deposit cheques electronically.

Read your account agreement carefully and check with your financial institution.

Find a bank account that meets your needs.

Electronic deposit security

Make sure you are using an official app from your financial institution to deposit a cheque electronically. By doing so, your financial information will not be stored on your mobile device.

When you use your financial institution’s official app, all financial information is securely encrypted. Your personal information is turned into an unreadable code as it is sent to your financial institution electronically. Your financial institution uses special information, such as a password, to de-code the information and deposit your cheque securely.

Avoid using public or free Wi-Fi connections when making an electronic deposit or any other financial transactions.

Find out about protection from unauthorized transactions when banking online.

Learn more about encryption.

Fraud risks

There are two types of fraud that could occur with electronic cheque deposit: double presentment and identity fraud.

Double presentment

Double presentment is when the same cheque is deposited twice.

Depositing a cheque

Make sure to only deposit a cheque once, either in person or electronically. If you mistakenly deposit a cheque more than once, contact your financial institution immediately.

After completing your deposit, mark the front of the cheque so that you know it has been deposited.

Purposefully depositing the same cheque more than once is considered fraud. Fraud is a serious criminal offence that is punishable by a prison sentence.

Identity fraud

Identity fraud is when someone steals your personal information and uses it to their advantage, like to access your bank account.

Because electronic cheque deposit requires you to log in to your financial institution’s app, you could be at risk of identity fraud:

  • if you haven’t protected your mobile device with a password and it falls into the wrong hands
  • if you use public or free Wi-Fi connections when making an electronic cheque deposit

Using public and free Wi-Fi connections can expose the personal information you store on your mobile device to fraudsters, especially if you are logged in to your financial institution’s app.

Protect your personal information when using electronic cheque deposit by:

  • using passwords to protect your device using a private and secure internet connection
  • logging out from your financial institution’s app when you are finished

Get more advice on how to protect your mobile device from fraud.

Alternatives to electronic cheque deposit

If you are not comfortable with this way of depositing a cheque, you can:

  • use an automated teller machine (ATM)
  • go to your financial institution and deposit the cheque with a teller’s assistance

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