Unintended Financial Consequences: Mobile Check Deposit Limits

Before you decide a local branch is unnecessary, consider the realities of mobile check deposit.

I've moved across the country. My family is settling in nicely (although I wish I had a desk) and things seem to be going well. Most of our financial transfers are also squared away. Insurance, bills, and address changes on financial accounts are all in various stages of “taken care of.”

One item I didn't worry about was the whole banking thing. After all, my husband and I have had an account with the same bank since married. We chose it ages ago, and it's never been a problem for us. There are branches near my parents and his parents, and there have always been branches near where we've lived.

Until now.

When I looked online to see about nearby branches, I was slightly disgruntled to see no branches closer than New York City. But I didn't worry about it too much. After all, there's no need to switch banks in these days of online banking and mobile check deposit.

For almost a month, I've been right about the idea that there is no need to worry about a local branch. Everything changed the other day, when I discovered that there are limits on mobile check deposit.

mobile check deposit

Mobile Check Deposit Limits

As you might know, I tried my hand at something a little new in the realm of my freelancing business. I helped with an online marketing campaign for State Farm. It was a great experience, and I received my check sooner than I expected. However, when do work like this (work that can be considered “consulting”), you generally end up with a reasonably larger check.

When I tried?to use mobile check deposit, I discovered that there is a limit on how much I can deposit. I've got another online account with mobile check deposit, so I tried that. The remote check deposit limit is higher, but still not high enough.

So, there I was, stuck with a large check and no place to put it.

Yeah, I know. You're crying right now, I'm sure. The immensity of my first world problems is overwhelming.

Anyway, I had to suck it up and go to a local bank branch and open an account. There was a lot of fun business-type stuff to go through, since I opened a business account and my business is still registered in Utah, and I'll write about that another day. But for now, suffice it to say that it was kind of annoying to have my dreams of never needing to go into a physical branch dashed.

Of course, I still can't access the money; it's got to go through a clearing process and the funds are being held (happily, it's not going to create a cash flow issue). And I can't access it online until I go in and set up online business banking. It's not my favorite setup, but it'll do. And now I have a place for big checks. I'll just need to make sure I can move money, electronically, from one account to another.

My finances haven't been this complex in years.

deposit checks

Solutions to the Mobile Check Deposit Limits

If I had thought through this, and followed up on?my mobile check deposit limits ahead of time, this snafu could have been avoided. Here are some of the options when you run up against mobile check deposit limits:

  • Ask for two checks: This would have been an awesome solution. If you have a client willing to cut you two checks, you can get around this technicality. In my case, I'd have to deposit each check in a different account because one of my banks has a monthly limit, while the other is a daily limit.
  • Avoid checks: When possible, I try to avoid using checks. I automate my finances, and I write very, very few checks, so why should I accept them? I still get checks from a small number of clients, but most of my clients pay via PayPal or by direct deposit.
  • Bank with local branch: And, of course, the other option is to open an account at a bank with a local branch. That way, if you receive a check too big for remote deposit, you at least have a fall back.

I don't think I'm ready to completely revamp my financial setup since I'm pretty happy with it, and it would take a lot of work and effort to change things up. Although I guess that fact alone could be used as an argument that my finances need some serious re-jiggering so that they are more minimalist.

Next time, though, I'll think ahead when I know a big check is coming. It's these unintended financial consequences that will get you in the end.

5 thoughts on “Unintended Financial Consequences: Mobile Check Deposit Limits”

    1. Great point! But I really hate how long it takes. Although, now that I think about it, if it was worth it, I could overnight the check to my husband’s parents and have them deposit the check for me.

  1. I accept checks for my side hustle, but I write very few checks. I don’t mind PayPal, but hate the fees, which I don’t have if I get paid in cash or check. I haven’t decided whether to pass the charges on to my clients, increase my prices to cover the fees, or just continue to eat the fees.

    I haven’t had the “problem” of too much money, aside from a simple hold for verification for a week or so. Interesting problem to have though. 🙂

  2. That stinks! We have an online-only bank, so I’m sure this will be a problem if I ever do get one of those big checks. I guess that will be a pretty good problem to have when it happens, but still inconvenient!

  3. If your financial institution is a credit union, they often belong to Co-ops which allow you do use affiliated ATMs without charging a fee for service. That’s how my daughter gets along away at college.

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