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How Long Does It Take a Mobile Deposit to Clear?

By Jacqueline DeMarco · July 17, 2022 · 7 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

How Long Does It Take a Mobile Deposit to Clear?

Most of us crave convenience when it comes to banking today, so it’s good news that mobile deposits typically only take a day to clear. After all, we live in a very fast-paced world with movies on demand and groceries ordered and dropped off within minutes. We expect a lot these days, and most of the time, mobile deposits deliver. But that also may explain why people can get frustrated when it takes a bit of time for their mobile deposits to clear.

The answer to the question, “How long does it take a mobile deposit to clear?” is usually around one business day. If you are experiencing delays, there could be an easy explanation for why that’s happening. Read on to learn more about how mobile deposits work, why delays happen, and how to avoid them.

Can You Deposit a Check Online?

Nowadays there’s no need to drive to the bank or hunt down an in-network ATM to deposit a check, as many banks and credit unions make it possible to deposit a check online using a smartphone. Typically, the process is pretty fast and straightforward. All someone has to do is endorse the back of their check, open the mobile app, log in, and take a picture of the front and back of the check.

Each banking app will have a slightly different process in place for uploading checks, but most are easy and fast.

When are funds available after mobile deposit? Let’s discuss.

How Long Does a Mobile Check Take to Deposit?

So, exactly how long does a mobile deposit take? Once the account holder uploads their check to the mobile app, it may only take a matter of minutes. That’s just about as fast as depositing cash. Or it can take a few days for the bank to verify the check. The amount of the check can impact this timeline, as can the rules and processes each bank has surrounding mobile deposits. All of that being said, generally consumers can expect mobile deposits to take a business day to complete.

What Factors Might Cause Mobile Deposit Delays?

As briefly noted, certain delays can slow down the mobile deposit process. Knowing how to avoid these delays with future deposits can help speed up the timeline.

Here’s a few factors that can slow down deposits (or stop them all together if not fixed):

•   Not endorsing a check before depositing it. Before cashing a check by using a mobile app, it’s vital to always endorse the check before taking the photo of it or the bank won’t be able to accept it. Alongside a signature, it’s also common to need to include a bank account number on the back of the check or to write “for mobile deposit only” under the signature.

•   Forgetting to get both payee signatures. If a check has two people listed on it, both of them will need to endorse the check with their signatures for it to be eligible for a deposit.

•   Uploading blurry images. A steady hand comes in handy as banks need a clear image to complete a mobile deposit. It helps to take a photo of the check on a plain, dark background and in good lighting so the picture is very crisp and clear.

•   Adding mismatched amounts. In addition to uploading a photo of the check, the mobile app will require the user to manually enter the check amount. That amount needs to match the amount on the check exactly, or your deposit may be delayed.

•   Not indicating a payee. The check uploader needs to make sure their name is on the Paid to the Order of line. If this section is blank or doesn’t say the correct name, the check won’t be deposited. Take some time to review that the entire check is filled out correctly.

•   Making a duplicate deposit. Trying to deposit the same check twice to your bank account can cause confusion. If someone uploads a check for the first time and receives a duplicate error message, they can contact their bank to work through the issue.

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Benefits of Mobile Banking

The option to enjoy mobile check deposits is just one of the many benefits associated with mobile banking. Here are a few other advantages worth keeping in mind.

1. Convenience

Mobile banking is super convenient. It’s possible to conduct a lot, if not all, of the banking business we used to do in-person at a branch or ATM from the comfort of our own homes or while on the go. It’s possible to review account balances, transfer funds between bank accounts, and deposit checks using mobile banking.

2. Timesaving

Not having to find time to drive or walk to a bank (which can be so hard to pull off on busy days) during their operating hours can be a major boost to productivity. A 30- to 60-minute round trip to the bank can now be replaced by simply logging onto a mobile bank account on a computer or smartphone. Most mobile banking activities can be completed in just a few minutes.

3. Accessibility

All anyone needs to participate in mobile banking is a smartphone and a WiFi or data connection. That means they can take care of their banking from almost anywhere. Of course, you do want a secure, not public, connection when managing financial matters to avoid banking scams.

4. Easy to Manage Finances

Mobile banking features can make it simple and speedy to stay on top of transactions, fraud alerts, and budgeting goals.

Alternatives to Checks

If someone doesn’t like to make payments or receive money via check, they have a few other options at their disposal that work well with mobile banking.

•   Automated Clearing House (ACH) and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Both an ACH and EFT are easy electronic ways to transfer funds from one financial institution to another via computer-based systems with intervention from bank staff members.

•   Credit and debit cards. When it comes to making payments, credit cards and debit cards are a simple option when someone doesn’t have cash on hand or wants to shop online.

•   Digital wallets. Also known as e-wallets or mobile wallets, digital wallets make digital payments easy and secure. All someone needs is access to a smartphone or computer to make a payment.

The Takeaway

Across the board, mobile banking is a modern and convenient financial tool for consumers. Being able to deposit checks from home or while traveling instead of having to find a branch location or ATM is one huge perk of mobile banking.

So how long does a mobile deposit take? Mobile deposits can clear in just a few minutes, but it’s best to expect about one business day. And by following a couple of quick checkpoints, you can avoid any hitches that could cause a delay. Because in today’s impatient world, there’s no need to wait much to get access to your money.

In fact, banking with SoFi includes all the usual conveniences, plus access to your paycheck up to two days early. How’s that for fast? When you sign up for our online bank account with direct deposit, that early access is one great benefit, along with a super-competitive APY and none of the usual bank fees.

Bank smarter and faster with SoFi.


Are mobile check deposits available immediately?

When are mobile deposits available? In some cases, a mobile check deposit can be available within just a few minutes of uploading the check into the mobile banking app. However, it usually takes around one business day for deposits to go through. Following instructions from the bank carefully regarding uploads can speed up the deposit timeline.

How long does it take for a mobile deposit to go in?

Some consumers may wonder, how long does it take a mobile deposit to clear? It usually takes a business day for a mobile deposit to show up in a bank account, but if all goes well and no delays occur, a mobile deposit may appear within just a few minutes.

Why is my mobile deposit taking so long?

Mobile deposit delays can be caused by a variety of factors such as using a blurry photo of the check, entering information incorrectly, or not endorsing the check properly. Double-check all key details before submitting the deposit to speed up the timeline.

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Photo credit: iStock/RyanJLane

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