Instant Online Check Cashing Services and Applications
Ah, the convenience of free online checking pays off again. Can’t make it to the bank? No problem! If you’ve got internet access, you’ve got banking services at your fingertips.
If you’re intimidated by technology, don’t worry. Online banking can be one of the easiest ways to manage your finances. But if you need help getting started, take some time to learn online banking tips for technophobes.
This post will explore more about instant online check cashing services and applications. We’ll explain how to cash a check online and where to find these services even if you don’t have a bank account.
Table of Contents
Can You Really Turn a Check Into Cash Online?
First, let’s get one thing straight. It would be very difficult to turn your check into cash without visiting a bank teller or ATM — or anyone else with a physical cash register. You can’t actually get physical cash through online check cashing systems and applications. But you can deposit your checks into a variety of accounts, some of which will allow you to spend deposited funds faster than others.
Some services even allow instant access to your check funds electronically, or through your debit card, credit card, secured card or prepaid card. Keep in mind that any app, bank, or website that is advertising online check cashing, really means check depositing.
How to Cash a Check Online
Cashing your check online is actually much easier than going to the bank. Most online check cashing services work through a mobile app.
You’ll need to register an account with the service and link it with your bank account or prepaid card. Then you’ll endorse the back of the check and write “For Online Deposit Only” underneath your signature. From there, you can follow the instructions from your chosen app. Usually, this process is simple:
- Photograph the front and back of the check
- Verify the check amount
- Direct funds to the correct account
- Confirm the deposit
Next, we’ll cover the common online check cashing options available to you.
Use Your Bank or Credit Union App
Many banks and credit unions have mobile apps that allow you to snap pictures of your check and instantly deposit it into your account. In some cases the check funds might be put on hold, but usually only until the next business day.
Most services will instruct you to keep the check for at least two weeks or until you’re sure it was deposited correctly into your account. After that, you should shred or destroy the paper check. Online check cashing is usually free if you have an account with the associated bank.
Deposit Your Check to Your PayPal Account
If you don’t have an account with a bank or credit union, PayPal online check cashing is your next best option. PayPal also has a mobile app that allows you to deposit checks directly into your account by using your camera to take pictures of the check.
You can then spend those funds online or use a PayPal card. You also have the option to transfer funds in your PayPal account to other accounts.
PayPal offers this service totally free, but you’ll have to wait 2-3 business days before you can access your funds, and there is a $1,000 per day limit.
Other Third Party Check Cashing Sites
Aside from PayPal, there are other digital wallet services that allow you to deposit your check into associated cards or or accounts. Here are a few common options:
Online Check Cashing Stores
If you don’t have a bank account or an online spending account, there are virtual check cashing stores like The Check Cashing Store. Generally, this is the option you want to avoid whenever possible. It’s not the easiest way to access your cash, compared to your bank or a PayPal account, and the fees can eat up your check fast.
Online check cashing is a simple and safe way to deposit checks directly into your accounts. Don’t miss out on the convenience of online checking. There are multiple options even if you don’t have a bank account.
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Tylene is a freelancer in Boise, Idaho. She's a self-taught personal finance hacker with zero debt. She eats avocado toast for breakfast.
This post was updated November 20, 2019. It was originally published August 7, 2018.