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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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Marco Arment’s post about mobile check deposits is on point. I was overjoyed to discover that Citibank started offering this feature in their mobile app – I’d no longer have to make my monthly trips to Citibank! Reality wasn’t nearly so kind, though. The steps I have to follow are similar, but worse. I’ll be somewhat brief as a lot of this is redundant with Marco’s original post:

  1. Log into the citibank mobile application. Again, this requires a strong password that’s irritating to type on the iPhone, because it was made to be a strong password when a keyboard is accessible.
  2. Navigate to accounts.
  3. Pick account for the deposit.
  4. Hit the ‘make a deposit button’
  5. Enter my complete ATM card number. Wait, what? Why the hell? Didn’t I already log in to my accounts?
  6. Enter a security challenge response. Here’s where it gets really stupid. These are picked randomly, and are not the same challenge/response questions used by the Citibank website. Why did I set up custom challenge/response questions only to have “what is your Mother’s maiden name?” or “what are the last four digits of your SSN?” asked of me? Through this process I discovered that my mother’s maiden name, at least according to this mechanism, did not agree with the value I’d set. This of course locked not just the application and mobile deposit out, but all of my banking access everywhere.
  7. Scroll down on the page to signify I’ve read the instructions to photograph the front of the check to hit a button to start the process to photograph the front of the check.
  8. Photograph the front of the check.
  9. Verify my photograph and that I’m happy with it.
  10. Scroll down on the page to signify I’ve read the instructions to photograph the back of the check and hit a button to start the process to photograph the back of the check.
  11. Photograph the back of the check.
  12. Verify the photograph and that I’m happy with it.
  13. Be presented with thumbnail images of both sides of the check and hit a button to say I’m happy with both of them.
  14. Hit a button to submit the mobile deposit.
  15. Get an email telling me that my mobile deposit request has been accepted and I’ll hear back in a few days if it worked.
  16. Wait a few days.
  17. Get an email telling met he mobile deposit worked, I should now void my check and destroy it.

Now, some of these steps can be debated, but call it at least a solid dozen steps to submit a check for mobile deposit. This is just for one check. Citibank limits deposits to $1000/day if you try to deposit more than this, but doesn’t tell you otherwise that there’s a limit until you run into it (at least as part of this workflow).

Let’s make a totally unfair comparison with how much work it is to sign up for Uber the first time:

  1. Start app
  2. Photograph credit card
  3. Call town car

Apples and oranges, yes. But I think there’s a lesson here. Old businesses stuck in their old ways leads to complete absurdity. For me, checks will continue to be deposited at an ATM, where I can just feed them into a machine and be done in 90 seconds.