Believe it or not, old-fashioned paper checks are still a big part of U.S. financial transactions. Despite the speed of credit and debit cards, we haven't quite done away with checks. However, a few inventive, tech-savvy financial institutions have put a modern twist on check payments with downloadable iPhone apps. It started with two financial institutions that each have a single physical location: WV United Federal Credit Union and USAA Federal Savings Bank. WV United was the first to offer an iPhone app that allowed its members to take pictures of both sides of a check and send a digital copy to the credit union [source: Bruene].
USAA launched its service soon after WV United, and PayPal introduced a similar feature in October 2010. Via the PayPal iPhone app, users can deposit up to $3,000 per month through photographed checks [source: Newman]. While the concept of photographing and depositing checks with a mobile app is still in its infancy, it presents an exciting (and convenient) future for paper checks.