At most modern banks, there are numerous ways to get money into your checking account. You can take cash or checks to a teller, mail checks in to the bank or drop them off at an automated teller machine. You can also make many deposits electronically, including digitally transferring money from one bank account to another or setting up direct deposit with your employer or another institution that pays you.
Making In-Person Deposits
One way to deposit money into your checking account is to show up at a bank location during business hours and drop off the funds at the bank. You'll usually need to fill out a deposit slip indicating how much you're depositing in terms of cash and checks. You'll also specify your name, the date and your account number. You may have received deposit slips preprinted with your account number when you set up your account or when you ordered checks. If you can't find your preprinted deposit slips, additional slips are usually found in the bank office.
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Bring your funds to a teller window and make sure to receive a receipt, which is often printed on the deposit slip you filled out. The teller will usually count your cash manually or with a machine. Check your account information online later on if you want to verify the funds were properly credited to your account.
Some banks also have night depository services where you can securely drop off cash and checks after hours to be credited to your account. This is especially prevalent for business accounts, since business owners don't want to store large amounts of cash for security reasons and must deposit it once their businesses close for the day. If you have questions about how and when you can deposit to your account in person, check the bank's website, call the customer service hotline or simply drop by your local branch.
Depositing Coins at the Bank
If you need to deposit coins rather than bills at the bank, check your bank's policy for coin deposits. Some banks offer coin counting machines that allow you to drop coins in and have them automatically counted and credited to your account, sometimes for a fee. Other banks may only accept deposits if you presort and wrap your coins by denomination. Those banks usually provide coin wrappers that you can use to prepare your coins for deposit.
Alternatively, you can use commercial coin counting machines like those found at supermarkets to exchange your coins for paper currency and bring that to the bank. Those machines generally charge a fee.
Depositing in an ATM
Many banks allow you to deposit cash and checks into an ATM. You will usually have to use an ATM associated with your bank, like using a Capital One ATM if you have a Capital One account, although certain banks and credit unions have arrangements where you can use another ATM in the same network to make a deposit.
Follow the instructions on the bank's website or at the ATM to see how to prepare cash and checks for deposit. Make sure to sign the back of any checks or money orders you need to deposit and verify whether you need a special envelope or money order. Insert your ATM card into the ATM, enter your PIN and use the on-screen menu to enter your deposit amount.
Make sure to get and keep your receipt in case there is a problem with your deposit. Check your deposit status online through your bank's online banking system.
Using Direct Deposit
You can arrange for an employer or another organization, like the Social Security Administration, to make payments directly to your bank account via direct deposit. You will normally need to fill out a paper or online form including your bank routing number and account number. Sometimes, you'll need to provide a voided check. Void a check by writing the word "VOID" across it in large letters covering most of the check so that it cannot be stolen and used.
Find your routing number and account number on your checks, with the routing number usually to the left of the account number, or contact your bank if you're not sure what these numbers are. Some banks may provide a prefilled direct deposit form you can give to your employer.
Check when your direct deposits are supposed to arrive and verify via online or phone banking that they did pay out and are in the correct amount. If you have questions, contact your employer or whatever entity is paying you. Remember to keep your bank account number secure and only give it to organizations you trust, since it can be used to steal money from your account.
Transferring Funds Online Between Accounts
You can often transfer money between accounts whether they're at the same bank or a different bank. For instance you can move money between two checking accounts or between a savings account and a checking account. If the accounts are within the same bank, you can often do this online by logging into your account, over the phone or in person.
If the accounts are located in different banks, you will likely need to provide one bank with the routing and account number for the account at the other bank. Then, you will be able to transfer money bank and forth from that bank. Keep in mind that some accounts, particularly savings accounts, have limits on how many transactions you can make per month. Check with your bank to understand any limits that may apply.
Making Deposits From Your Phone
Many banks now provide an online banking app that allows you to scan and deposit checks. Install your bank's app on your smartphone and follow the directions to take photos of the front and back of a check to deposit it. Hold on to the check for the amount of time suggested by the bank in case there is any problem with your deposit.
Many banks restrict how much you can deposit in one check and one day via this method. See your bank's app or online documentation to see if there are any restrictions like this. Check to see whether you can deposit a money order online or whether your bank's app is limited to accepting traditional checks.
Mailing in Your Deposits
Many banks allow you to mail in checks for deposit to your account. You will usually have to sign the back of the checks and write your account number. Sometimes you'll also need to include a deposit slip. Send the check and deposit slip to the address specified by your bank.
Keep in mind that if a check is lost or stolen in the mail, it will not make it to your account, and you may have to ask for it to be re-issued. Check your online banking app or website to verify when the check arrives and is processed into your account by your bank.
Understanding Funds Availability Policies
Banks have differing policies for when certain types of deposits are available to spend. Check with your bank to understand how these rules work so that you don't accidentally try to spend money that isn't yet available, potentially incurring fees. If a deposit seems to be taking longer than usual to process, contact your bank for assistance.