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My bank requires me to write the following on the back of a cheque before I can use their mobile app to send it over to them:

For mobile deposit at XYZ bank only

I am very worried that once I write these words if, for some reason, they are unable to process the cheque or, due to some technical glitch, I am unable to use the mobile app to upload it, my cheque would be rendered worthless as no other bank would accept it once these words are written at the back. Is this a reasonable concern and would might one do under these circumstances?

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  • Does the bank have physical branches and is tied to the same account OR are you using an online only bank? Commented Mar 29, 2020 at 21:41
  • Worth verifying: does the app actually reject the deposit if you don't write that?
    – chepner
    Commented Mar 29, 2020 at 22:36
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    I also wonder if they can even tell if the back image even is an image of the back of the same check. Any piece of paper with your endorsement might work. (Not that I recommend trying it; it's probably not worth finding out if this would be construed as a form of fraud.)
    – chepner
    Commented Mar 29, 2020 at 22:39
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    It is generally a recommendation, so if somebody picks that check out of your trash, he can't deposit it at another bank again. Most banks don't care what you write there; I have been ignoring it since the day mobile deposit was offered.
    – Aganju
    Commented Mar 29, 2020 at 23:35
  • @MorrisonChang it does have physical branches but I am overseas so my only other option would be to physically mail the cheque to them. Perhaps physically mailing the cheque is safer? Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 7:39

2 Answers 2

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Verify the exact wording the bank requests. While "for mobile deposit" is allowed by Federal Reserve regulations, my large US bank doesn't want it. They merely want the endorsement to read

For deposit only at Bank of XYZ

or

For deposit only to Bank of XYZ Account 123

If the mobile deposit isn't completed, then the endorsement is still valid for an ATM or in-person deposit.

That's because the bank has internal duplicate detection, so if it was deposited twice at XYZ, no matter the account or form, they would catch it and block it. (Or at the very least, they would be in control of the funds anyway if there was a dispute.)

Rules say if you have a duplicate paper vs. mobile deposit, the paper deposit wins. By ensuring the mobile deposit is endorsed for Bank of XYZ, one could not bypass duplicate detection by subsequently depositing it in paper form at a different bank.

I wouldn't be surprised if smaller banks didn't have this system and therefore want the mobile deposit wording.

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This is a standard recommendation for electronic check deposit, to prevent fraud from someone trying to kite the same check to multiple banks.As to whether it is required or not, you have to ask your own bank; this is a company policy issue, not a regulation.

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