Visa (NYSE: V) prepaid card users can now deposit paper checks to their card accounts by taking a photo of the check with their smartphones.
The credit card giant and Chexar Networks, a check-cashing technology company based in Roswell, Ga., said Monday they have teamed up to digitize banking services for consumers who rely on Visa's reloadable prepaid cards as an alternative to cash and checks.
The initiative, which uses Chexar's platform for mobile remote deposit capture, also will enable Visa's prepaid cardholders to transfer funds between direct deposit accounts, send money to another person, and pay bills in person, online, via a mobile device or at an ATM. According to the companies, holders of Visa prepaid cards from RushCard, AccountNow and Plastyc also will be able to deposit checks to their cards via their mobile devices starting later this year.
"Mobile technology and other payment innovations are enabling us to enhance Visa's prepaid experience and bring all the conveniences of traditional banking options to consumers who choose to use prepaid," Hyung Choi, head of Visa's prepaid business in the U.S., said in a news release. "Consumers are choosing reloadable prepaid cards at an increasing rate, and for many of the same reasons that consumers embrace other electronic payment options - security, convenience and reliability."
"We see this network utility as more than a technology, it's an evolution in the way people deposit and move funds and our goal is to make that process frictionless and immediate for consumers," Drew Edwards, Chexar's founder and chief executive, added in a news release.
Consumer funds will remain in accounts insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the companies said.
According to Visa, nearly 35 million consumers receive wages and government disbursements via paper check, although roughly one third of those consumers say direct deposit is unavailable through their employer.