Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

PayPal upgrades iPhone app to enable mobile check capture

PayPal Mobile’s application for Apple’s iOS now lets consumers transfer checks into their accounts for free by taking a photo with their iPhone.

The mobile check capture service is powered by BankServ. PayPal launched this new feature to encourage its accountholders to skip their next trip to the bank when they receive a check.

“Mobile check capture eliminates consumers’ need to visit their bank every time they receive a check, helping consumers save time and energy,” said Anuj Nayar, director of global communications at PayPal, San Jose, CA.

“We use technology provided by BankServ to make this possible for our U.S. customers,” he said.

PayPal has been quite active in the mobile space.

In June, PayPal, an eBay company, made its highly requested Guest Payments feature available to developers via its open global payments platform PayPal X (see story).

In July, PayPal rolled out a mobile version of its Express Checkout service for iPhone and Android that lets merchants offer the same PayPal experience for their on-the-go customers (see story).

In August, PayPal updated its iPhone application to let users donate to more than 23,000 charities, including The American Cancer Society, Save the Children and UNICEF (see story).

Mobile check capture
Mobile check capture is just one of the new features that PayPal added to its recently released iPhone 2.7 application.

Once users have photographed their check, PayPal recommends that they hold on to it for 15 days before throwing it away.

To get the iPhone application, consumers can visit or download it directly from the iTunes App Store.

“We are always on the lookout for ways to improve our customers’ experience in all 190 markets in which we operate and decided to implement this great new service in the U.S.,” Mr. Nayar said.

PayPal has not announced whether or not it will expand mobile check capture to its applications for Google’s Android or Research In Motion’s BlackBerry devices.

Laura Chambers, senior director of PayPal Mobile, announced the addition of mobile check capture to her company’s iPhone application in a blog post.

“We all agree that the future of money is digital, so it’s hard to believe that there are people and businesses in the U.S. still using an analog technology that’s 400 years old—yes, I’m talking about checks,” Ms. Chambers said.

“Have you ever been handed a check and thought about when you’ll have a chance to get to the bank to deposit it?” she said. “I’ve carried checks around for months before finally making the time to run to the bank or ATM to deposit them.

“That’s all about to change.”

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily