I spent thirty minutes driving to an ATM yesterday to deposit a check. I could have stayed at home, if only I'd known my iPhone can now let me deposit checks.
Apparently sometime in June the Chase iPhone App added functionality that lets you deposit a check by taking a snapshot of the front and back. It works well enough, even if doesn't seem to want to use the touch-to-focus features of the iPhone. (It does wait until it thinks it has a clear shot before taking the snap, not unlike those apps designed to give you a clean shot in low light.)
There are limitations. You can only deposit up to a thousand dollars in a day and only three-thousand dollars in a month, so depending on how your paycheck comes in it might not be possible to the app instead of going to a bank.
Still. I deposited a check with my phone! There's something very satisfying about actually doing something that we've known should be possible for a long time, even if it's stripped of its zazz just a bit by the quotidian nature of actually holding the crumpled check in an unsteady hand.
(An aside: Chase is a horrible bank. I've actually started moving most of my money into a credit union account, but I've kept Chase around for the moment because for all its terrible, unfortunate, customer-last policies, I feel like it's good to have a backup bank that has outlets in nearly every city. Maybe that's naive!)
UPDATE: Looks like Joel wasn't the one person to deposit a check via an app this week. Over $100,000 checks were banked this way, using PayPal's latest version.