While Visa and Mastercard are racing to implement mobile payment solutions and Google slowly builds support for Near Field Communications (NFC), PayPal is continuing to add new services to its already existing mobile payment capability. Android users who have a PayPal account can now get an update to the PayPay mobile app that has the ability to capture check images for deposit in to your PayPal account.
Photo-based check capture has appeared in mobile applications from a few banks in the United States, but if your bank does not provide the capability, you are out of luck. PayPal’s service is available to anyone who has a checking or credit card account with a bank. PayPal has always provided the ability to easily send money from one PayPal account to another via email, and the check capture process provides a PayPal user the ability to accept payment from people who do not have a PayPal account.
The check capture process is straightforward. You start the process by tapping the Add Money From Checks option of the Tools tab of the Android PayPal app. You then snap a picture of the front and back of the check, which you need to sign in order to deposit the check to your account. Finally, you enter the amount of the check using a numeric keypad that displays in the app.
I tried the PayPal check capture process by writing a check to myself. It took me a couple of attempts at taking the photo before the app would process the check, each time the app indicated that it could not read the routing and account information at the bottom of the check. It may take up to to six business days for the check to process and money deposited in to your PayPal account, and you are instructed to hang on to the paper check for at least 15 business days.