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Online-Only Bank Simple Adds Photo-Check Deposits

Saying it's "beyond excited" by the news, online-only alternative bank Simple has updated its iPhone app with a new power: it now lets you simply snap a picture of a cheek you want to deposit, and Simple's tech will identify all the right details and perform the transaction for you.

It's simply the next step in Simple's plan to fully replace your traditional bank with something much more 21st Century. As Simple points out a check is just a "piece of paper with your bank account information on it, instructing your bank to allow the bearer to withdraw a designated amount of your money. It’s one of the most basic ways we have to abstract money." But while checks once revolutionized payments by giving a new alternative to cash, processing them nowadays—actually hand-checking, stamping, posting the things around—costs money that outweighs the costs associated with a digital payment card payment. Checks are basically out of date. In some places, such as Portugal, it's now nearly impossible to pay with them.

There are a few hoops to jump through to use the new system on Simple, such as snapping both the front and back of the check and popping your account number on the back too, but until the wonderful world of mobile payments is with us, this is a great step forward. Some folks are already excited:

[Image: Flickr user kirbyurner]