Paperless banking is nearly here, but many of us still receive printed checks that need processing. If you’re using electronic banking every day a physical check can at first glance appear inconvenient. But cashing a check really needn’t be a hassle. In fact, you can cash a check using your phone alone. In this article we cover everything you need to know about check cashing apps – keep reading!

Instant online check cashing

When you deposit a check at a physical bank branch or with your bank’s mobile app you may need to wait a while before the money is available to spend. This could typically be two or three business days, though sometimes a percentage of the funds will be available to spend straight away.

This waiting period is not always convenient, and that’s why app developers have come up with ideas to help you cash checks almost instantaneously. With just a few minutes to wait you can get access to the funds of a check almost instantaneously, but there may be fees to pay.

You have a couple of options when it comes to check cashing apps, but Ingo is one of the more popular choices. Ingo is provided by First Century Bank, a nationally chartered bank. You get Ingo for both Android and iOS and it’s pretty simple to use. Ingo works like this:

  • install the app and enroll using your debit card, PayPal account, prepaid card or credit card
  • deposit a check by snapping the front and back of your check with the app

For a fee (2% or 5%, depending on the amount and whether the check is machine printed) you can get the money from the check within minutes. Alternatively, you can deposit a check free of charge but if you do so you need to wait 10 days for your funds.

What do users say about Ingo? Android users are happy with the Ingo app, with a total of 17,153 users rating it 4.2 / 5 on average. Users like that it’s easy to use and that you get a discount on instant deposit fees if you regularly use the app.

iOS users looking for an instant check cashing app also like Ingo, rating it 4.1 / 5 while suggesting that it hardly causes any glitches. Just like Android users, however, there are some complaints about poor customer service.

Check cashing apps like Ingo

We’ve taken a look at Ingo but there are other instant check cashing options you can choose from.

Lodefast Check Cashing App

The Lodefast app, provided by Lodestar financial services, works just like the Ingo app. You pay between 3% and 5% to get instant access to a check’s funds. Depositing a check is equally simple, you just grab an image with your phone. Lodefast is available for both iOS and Android.

iOS users are not keen on the Lodefast instant check cashing app, rating it 2.7 / 5. Reviewers mainly complain about the slow speed at which checks clear and poor customer service. Android users also complain about the same issues, scoring the app 2.9 / 5 with customer service frustrations a particular pain point.

ACE Mobile Loads

ACE Checks lets you deposit checks using their app, but you can only use ACE Mobile Loads to deposit a check on to your ACE Elite Card. Nonetheless you can get access to your money in minutes, permitted you pay a 2% to 5% fee.

ACE offers an app for Android and iOS, but iOS users are not happy. ACE Mobile Loads gets 2.6 / 5 on iOS, with users complaining that the app refuses to recognize checks while also complaining about account freezes. Android users are less frustrated, scoring ACE Mobile Loads 3.8 / 5, with some users happy with its ease of use while others complain about unresponsive customer service.

More on Apps like Ingo

Using your bank's app for cashing checks

Not everyone needs instant check cashing – some people are happy to wait a day or two. If that’s you, consider using the check cashing feature that’s built into your bank’s mobile app. Most major banks have decent mobile apps, including Wells Fargo and Citibank.

You will rarely get access to the funds instantly, but fees will be low or non-existent. For many people, depositing a check with a standard mobile banking app will be a good solution, but consider one of the check cashing apps we mentioned if you don’t bank with a mainstream bank or need your money faster.