From the outset, online banking startup Simple has been focused on supplanting the brick-and-mortar banks in its users’ lives, but they haven’t always been equipped to handle every little transaction that comes up. Case in point — what happens when someone cuts you a check (after all, the holidays are right around the corner)?
Well, that’s no longer the case. According to a post on the official Simple blog, users are now able to deposit money from those pesky pieces of paper just by taking a photo with the company’s iOS app.
If we’re being honest, the feature itself is nothing too special — mobile applications from more established players like Chase and Bank of America have been able to do this for a little while now — but it represents a big step forward in service for users still on the fence about making the switch completely. The process is very, well, simple: users enter the amount on the check, snap a photo of the front and the (endorsed) back. That money doesn’t all appear in your account at once though — up to $200 of those funds will be deposited in a user’s account within one business day, depending on how long that person has been a Simple user and how large the check in question is. Not to worry though, as the remainder will trickle into the associated Simple account within another day.
Interestingly enough, users looking in the iOS App Store for an update will come away empty-handed — instead, it appears that the Simple team flipped a switch on their end to enable the nascent feature for all users. Prior to that, Simple spent a few weeks quietly bringing the feature to life for certain subsets of Simple customers:
“Roughly three weeks ago, we shared a preview of the feature with an initial group of nearly 300 customers,” Simple CEO Josh Reich told TechCrunch. “We expanded that group by 750 the next day and pushed to an audience of more than 4,000 last week.”
Speaking as a Simple customer myself, I still don’t know that I’m fully ready to ditch my local bank branch. That’s not a jab at the company itself (though a recent spell that left certain users unable to view some recent transactions was a bit worrying) but there’s something to be said for sticking with a process that just works in spite of its annoyances. That said, the addition of photo check deposits closes a crucial gap in the Simple service — I’m just waiting for an Android app and integration with a service like Mint before diving in completely.