Mobile Phone Picture Check Cashing Coming to Paypal

This gimmick has been out for a short period of time now from Chase bank QuickDeposit. The app enables people to take two photographs of a check written out to them—front and back—then submit and the bank deposits the check as if it had come through a teller or ATM. The entire process shown in the commercial is short and sweet and only involves an indeterminate breed of smartphone.

Now Paypal is getting into the mix with their own app, announced earlier today,

On a panel alongside Keith Rabois from Square and Holger Luedorf from Foursquare, Chambers said that this new app will allow you to take a picture of the front and back of a check with your iPhone camera, and it will be added to your PayPal balance.

Such functionality has been explored by some banks already, and it’s a very useful technology. Chambers notes that the ability to do this actually stemmed from the terrorist attacks of 9/11 nine years ago when much of the infrastructure of the U.S. was either shut down on purpose or was struggling under the weight of demand. The U.S. then started to pass legislation to make things like this possible. Such a system allows you to easily transfer money under a variety of situations, obviously.

One more step for Paypal to become more like an online bank! Although, for the discussion, it’s a bit of an unexpected development from 9-11 “lines of communication” legislation would have led to depositing checks by mobile phone.

The only caveat so far, however, is that this is an iPhone only app at the moment—no news about Android development yet, so fans of that handset will be left out for the time being. This hole in their smartphone coverage may deal to alienate a number of their customers who don’t transact with Apple smartphones. To successfully enter into the marketplace, the payment-by-web company will probably want to reach their development across as many smartphones as possible; the iPhone release may be their best foot forward while they get their momentum up.

This announcement comes on the heels of other Paypal developments today. With the holiday season oncoming, Paypal is beefing up their consumer security. As of Nov 1st they are expanding the customer protection service that was first available to particular eBay purchasers. Now most customers can rest easy in that if they don’t receive or receive the wrong item from an order that they have additional redress than before.

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