Finding a Business Bank Account With Free Remote Deposit

posted Nov 17, 2012, 6:39 AM by Lou Peppe   [ updated Nov 17, 2012, 7:34 AM ]

My clients pay me by check so several times a week I find myself driving to my bank to deposit them.  The bank does offer a check scanner for remote deposits but it comes with a hefty fee of $60 per month.  The other day I decided it’s time to find a bank for my business account that meets my criteria plus offers free remote deposit. I will preface this by saying that I do not deal with the large banks.  Citibank, Wells Fargo, Chase, Bank of America all have fees of one sort or another so I avoid them like the plague.  My criteria, by order of importance, are pretty basic:

·         Business Checking

·         FDIC Insured

·         No Fee / No Minimum (Any Transaction limit must be above 100 per month)

·         Same Day / Next Day fund availability

·         Free Bill Pay

·         Free check card (everybody has this now)

·         A large ATM network

Additional options I like but can live without are a local branch office (the only time I go to the bank is to make a deposit), free starter checks, No fee business credit card, reimbursement for out of network ATM fees and the ability to transfer funds to accounts in other banks.

I started by looking at local banks and although some touted remote deposit most were linked to merchant services and all came with a fee.  I broadened my search to the internet and here I found several banks with free remote deposit.  Most featured either the ability to scan checks on your home scanner or a smartphone app that takes a picture of the check.  These banks include Ally, ING Direct, Charles Schwab Bank, USAA Federal Savings Bank.  These are all great banks if you are looking for a personal account.  I need a business account however and to my surprise none of these offer business accounts.  My search continued and at the end I came up with the following three banks that meet my criteria.

1.       smallbusinessbank.com
SBB is the online presence of Gardner Bank located in the Kansas City area.  They offer "No Bull Checking" and "No Bull Remote Deposit".  The free remote deposit comes in either a smartphone app or a check scanner.  If you go with the check scanner there is a refundable deposit. 

2.       bofifederalbank.com
BOFI Federal Bank is a NBNM (No Brick No Mortar) internet only bank.  The no minimum / no fee account require a $1,000 initial deposit that must remain in the account for 24 hours.  Remote deposit is via a smartphone app.

3.       gtefinancial.org/
GTE Financial is a credit union with locations in West Central Florida.  Its services include a feature called “Popmoney” that allows you to send money for free with just an email address or cell phone number.  I sometimes send gift money to my kids so this is a great, free alternative to Western Union or MoneyGram.  Remote Deposit is a smartphone app called Deposit2GO.  In addition they support scanning checks with your home scanner.

In conclusion, remote deposit is a great new feature that is quickly rolling out in the big banks.  The smaller banks will follow in the future while any of the three banks above will give you the opportunity to be on the bleeding edge with this new technology.  I applied to GTE Financial and am waiting to hear back.  Check back here in a few weeks for my evaluation.