Bank Of America's ATMs With Envelopeless Deposists Are Great

Bank of America has rolled out over the past yearATMs that don’t require you to put your money or checks in an envelope when you deposit. Just shove the bills and checks in the slot. Vincent Ferrari saw the new ATMs in Queens and sent us the scan of the flyer that was sitting next to them, writing, “I know you aren’t huge fans of Bank of America, but the new ATMs are undeniably cool…”

Hunching over with your money and checks and filling out the envelope can be a slightly annoying time-waster. More banks should incorporate this convenience. Just hope they don’t get jammed up. Full scan inside…

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  1. JDobbs says:

    Wells Fargo out here in the Wild West has had this for a little less than a year. Haven’t seen a jammed one yet.

  2. sleze69 says:

    PNC has had this for over 5 years. Works great.

  3. gibsonic says:

    people really make that many deposits via an ATM?

    amazing.

  4. Haven’t they been working on this for a while? I remember a BofA commercial with a guy talking about their current and future technology as far as checks and ATMs go and one of the things was being able to just put money in the ATM to make a deposit.

  5. JDobbs says:

    I just noticed the instructions say to insert or checks one at a time. The Wells ones out here have you deposit all your checks at once in a stack.

  6. @gibsonic: I guess if there aren’t any branches nearby.

  7. we’ve had these in the DC area for several months now – they are pretty fantastic and I’ve only had to correct the deposit amount once so far.

  8. mdkiff says:

    BOA has had them in DC for 8-10 months. Pretty cool – I only deposit at an ATM every couple of months, but it is quicker and easier (no jamming yet that I’ve seen). Plus, there is nothing more annoying than rolling up to a drive-thru ATM and there being no envelopes.

  9. maddypilar says:

    My bank when I was in college had this, a little over 10 years ago. Mid State Bank in State College, PA. Was it just a pilot back then?

    I thought it was exceedingly cool at the time. I have been surprised for years that I haven’t seen it since.

  10. rekoil says:

    We have these in ATL and most of the time they work fine; however, there’s the occasional handwritten check or badly-aligned machine-printed check that the scanner misreads. While it does show you an image of the check and ask you to verify the amount, I have seen it misread the check’s value by orders of magnitude (missing a digit, for example. so a ~$1000 check gets scanned as ~$100). If someone doesn’t catch the error I can see all sorts of badness, as I have no idea how one would correct such an error after the fact.

  11. maddypilar says:

    @gibsonic: I made a deposit with a teller the other day thinking it would be faster because there was no line. It took at least twice as long. I don’t understand issues with ATM deposits.

  12. hc5duke says:

    @JDobbs: I think the Wells Fargo machines take up to 10 checks. I’ve inserted up to 5 and it worked seamlessly. Same deal with cash.

  13. RandomHookup says:

    @gibsonic:

    I make lots of deposits via ATM. If I make a mistake in math, I get a letter from BoA highlighting my misdeed. Seems like such a waste for .13 in bad math.

  14. myrall says:

    We’ve had these in Atlanta for about 6 months or so. They’re pretty helpful. I used to work for a small company that refused to do direct deposit for paychecks. I used to have to stock the ATM envelopes in my car for deposits. This made life sooo much easier.

  15. Helvetian says:

    @gibsonic: Do people still wait in queue at a branch just to make a deposit? it always amazes me to see people lining up to deposit, when it’s much faster to do it yourself. It’s also more profitable to the bank, and therefore you’re rewarded by them ;)

  16. ceejeemcbeegee is not here says:

    Does this mean the cash deposits will post immediately , instead of days later?

    I didn’t think so? Why give you credit right away for money you give them, when they could just charge you overdraft fees up the yingyang?

  17. Exek says:

    @Gibsonic ATM deposits are sometimes more convenient than going to the teller line. for example my bank which happens to be Bofa :-/ will give me immediate credit of at least 100 dollars sometimes the full deposit amount on deposits made via the ATM rather than the next day availability done thru the teller line.

  18. Buran says:

    @gibsonic: Never had a problem. I’m at work while the bank is open on weekdays (I sleep relatively late and work a little late too) and sleeping on Saturday morning.

    Now why is it when I was traveling on the East Coast, I saw BofA ATMs that would treat deposits as same-day til 8pm, when I can actually get there in time, when back here in St. Louis I have to go out of my way to get to one by 2pm, the cutoff time here?

    It’s the same freaking bank!

  19. ceejeemcbeegee is not here says:

    @Helvetian: People (like me) do this when they have cash to deposit. After the bank ATM lost a $450 cash deposit of mine (it was my word against theirs that I ever put the money in, and guess who’s word the bank took?), I make an effort to hand cash to an actual person at the window.

  20. Buran says:

    @ceejeemcbeegee: Apparently, they trust us less than they trust the people who submit charges to our accounts.

    Which is backwards. But it lets them charge more stupid fees if the charger is doing it fraudulently or screws up — which happens more often than you would think.

    Does BofA have a way to get a plain ATM-only card? I’d like to replace my check card so if my wallet is ever lost, someone can’t run up charges on my account. The only thing I use the actual account for is to pay bills — everything I buy goes on credit cards which are paid off every month.

  21. Nick says:

    The new ATMs are nice, unless you have lots of checks to deposit. I use to deposit my roommates’ checks in one envelope, but now it takes four times longer. One benefit, however, is that the ATMs automatically add up your check amounts. Plus, the receipt has a scanned image of the checks on it, so it makes record keeping much easier.

    And, gibsonic, I suggest you try making deposits via ATM. You’ll soon see that it’s much easier and faster.

  22. gibsonic says:

    wow..didn’t mean to set anyone off. i just personally rarely darken the doors of a bank and even more rarely have to use the ATM for a deposit. I guess I didn’t realize how many people still use them.

    I guess it makes sense though that this technology would advance as does every other technology that reduces or eliminates waste, cost and human intervention. Automation FTW!

  23. Red_Eye says:

    @gibsonic: Yep in my case my branch is in California and I live in Georgia (its a credit union I don’t want to loose) I have been doing ATM deposits for 6 years of amounts up to 24,000 and no problems yet.

  24. cnc1019 says:

    My local bank does not have this ability just yet. However, they have multiple branches in each town they are in and at least one of those branches is open 7 days a week (10am to 4pm saturday and sunday) and 9am to 7pm on M-F. They are the reason there isn’t a BofA branch here despite being just 30 min. south of Dallas.

  25. Red_Eye says:

    @ceejeemcbeegee: Hmm my deposits at my credit union (up to $5,000 per deposit) are available immediately.

    As for the cash deposit loss thats always a risk. If I feel I am at a secure location(the co-OP atm I use is inside a secured office building) then I will count out each bill into the envelope in front of the video camera. Dunno if it would ever help in a dispute but cant hurt.

  26. umonster says:

    @Red_Eye: Do you do direct deposit?

  27. sleze69 says:

    Never, EVER deposit cash at an ATM.

    I used to be a teller and there’s really no way to prove that the amount of cash that you put into the envelope is actually there. We finally caught a teller who had been stealing for YEARS when she stole money from the envelope of a well-known customer. Before that point, it was her word vs. the word of mostly non-customers (they used the ATM but were customers of other banks).

    The envelopeless ATMs are good all the way around in that the funds can be verified on the spot. They still don’t post to your account until your bank handles them.

  28. jeblis says:

    Meh. My atm will give me change. I can get $9.53 out of the thing if I want. Not sure if it will take bill w/o the envelope, but it will take checks that way. Scans the check immediately, might do character recognition on the value too.

  29. enm4r says:

    @gibsonic: I was thinking the same thing, I really didn’t realize people use ATMs to deposit so often. To be fair, I obviously would not use this with USAA, as they don’t have ATMs, so my deposit options are nil. (prepaid envelopes for the lose? but Deposit@Home ftw)

    I’ve seen these around though, and really they are impressive. At the banks I’ve used locally to deposit checks I’ve always hated having to wait in line for 20 minutes to perform something that could easily be handled with the appropriate scanning technology. Especially considering the checks are all scanned in batches if you go to the teller anyway.

  30. bnet41 says:

    Where I am from, Columbus Ohio, Huntington Banks did this about 10 years ago. They stopped about 2-3 years ago for some reason. Maybe they figured out a flaw that BofA will discover down the road.

  31. @gibsonic: I don’t make ATM deposits because I’m scared of them. I always go inside and stand in line.

  32. CaliforniaBuyer says:

    @Buran: I know I had an ATM-only card when I only had my savings account with them and not my checking. I’m sure it can be done.

  33. MercuryPDX says:

    WaMu uses these. I’ve never had a jam, BUT I have been to their ATMs that are fresh out of envelopes or deposit slips. I just keep a stack of each in my car. It’s so much faster than going in to the branch and waiting on line or going through the drive thru.

  34. gibsonic says:

    @Eyebrows McGee:

    that’s interesting.

    I just do everything online and very rarely have to deal with “live” checks.

  35. wesa says:

    Our credit union has had this style ATM for a while now. Very easy to use.

  36. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I’d be reluctant to use one these. Paper jam being the obvious reason. I also wonder if they’re picky about accepting certain bills. Kinda like those moments when you insert a bill into a vending machine and it keeps spitting it out because it was too worn or because it was wrinkled. :-)


    Anyways, I’m thankful for direct deposit. I don’t have to deal with ATM’s or long lines inside the bank. The only times I go inside is when I want to cash a rebate check. And I usually go during off-peak hours, so I’m in and out in no time.

  37. robotprom says:

    My CU has had these for a year or so now. They are so unbelievable slow when you have multiple checks. It takes a minute to image each check.

  38. Buran says:

    @CaliforniaBuyer: That’s promising. I just emailed them via the online banking mail feature asking if they’re available for my account.

  39. Buran says:

    @LatherRinseRepeat: I wonder if you still have the option of using an envelope.

    I have direct deposit, too, but do cash the occasional check…

    As for the vending machines, I’ve seen them pass COINS right through without crediting the amount put in but take a wrinkled bill. Don’t know what’s up with that.

  40. haroldx says:

    About time.
    The last time I went to make a deposit at the nearest BofA (Hollywood at Vermont), there weren’t any envelopes for any of the seven (I think) ATMs. And this is typical, in my experience, and not just with that one branch.

    When I do find ‘em, I try to remember to hold onto a couple of extra, in case they’re out next time.

  41. skadoo323 says:

    As others have mentioned, these new atms are very slow when you have to deposit multiple checks. Otherwise I do like them since I get a receipt that has a scan of any checks I deposited.

  42. categorically says:

    I find the new ATMs slow period. I liked the older “black” screened ones. I guess that is what BofA gets for moving from the OS/2 based ATMs to the Windows based ATMs.

  43. dbeahn says:

    I was using these type ATMs at a little bank in Pittsburgh back in the mid 1990’s. Good for Bank of America that they finally deployed them 10 years later?

  44. Nytmare says:

    You’re not supposed to pay bills with cash, so I’m surprised they let you deposit cash in ATMs with the envelope system. Who really knows what their security process is?

  45. queen_elvis says:

    @ceejeemcbeegee: Yeah. I found out the hard way that you should never ever put cash in an ATM. The processing center either screwed up or stole from me twice, and the second time, it was money I made waiting tables on CHRISTMAS. To their credit, BofA credited it back right away on a temporary basis, and eventually decided in my favor. But I now deposit cash inside the bank. I would suggest that people take cell phone photos of their checks, too, or at least wave ‘em in front of the security cameras first.

  46. kimsama says:

    @maddypilar: Go State! I think Mid State was bought by some other, less-well-run bank. It’s a shame, they did a good job (and you’re right, I remember their rad ATM too, though we called it a “MAC Machine”).

  47. Don Roberto says:

    @ceejeemcbeegee: Of course the regular funds availability rules apply. We can’t expect banks, especially b of a, to do something to help out the consumer. It’s all for profits: lure more tech geeks in with cool atms, and save money by not having to pay more people to sort through deposited checks. I would say these atms are dangerous in urban areas, or crime-ridden areas, because you will spend a lot longer feeding checks and bills to the machine and waiting to confirm EACH INDIVIDUAL ONE.
    I would rather stuff all of my deposits in an envelope and drop them into a deposit box, like I do at my CU. No remembering to bring your ATM card, or forgetting a pin or machine troubles. Just drop them in. I never had a problem with them not posting the next business day.

  48. IC18 says:

    I’ve been doing this with my chase branch for a couple of years now, looks like BoA is a bit slow, but then again they might be committing all their resources to customer service..

  49. rmontcal says:

    Is “deposist” a blog all about deposits?

  50. enm4r says:

    I’m somewhat confused by the amount of people saying they’ve been doing this for years now. I know this specific BoA ATM has been out for about a year now, and I seem to recall an article that said it was the first ATM that would print a receipt with the image of the check on it.

    People were doing this years ago, feeding their checks in one at a time and allowing the ATM to tally it up? Or feeding in bills one at a time and seeing the tally? I had never seen those specific features before last year at a BoA machine…

  51. DeeJayQueue says:

    I’ve been burned on ATM deposits before. I used to bank with Commerce and I deposited cash. They credited me immediately after the deposit, I spent money, then when the chips fell they took money back out of my account. This caused me to go into the negative, and they charged me overdraft fees. I called and they said “That’s what you get for putting cash into the ATM. This happens all the time and there’s no way to verify that an employee isn’t stealing your money so tough titty.” So I said “Well, this is what happens when you piss off your customers, I’m going to come close my account and take my business somewhere else.” Of course, I was living paycheck to paycheck on a register jockey’s salary so they didn’t care.

    Moral: Don’t do anything with an ATM except take money out.

  52. Hawkins says:

    USAA allows me to deposit checks from my desk, using a scanner.

    Suck on THAT, B of A.

  53. DCvision says:

    I am amazed at the handwriting recognition on the BOA ATM’s… they usually pick up check amounts even with the most hastily scribbled checks… these ATM’s are great!

  54. jeffeb3 says:

    @gibsonic: Haven’t you ever seen a bank robbery movie? I never go into the bank, I don’t want a gun pointed at me… I just finished inside man a few daws ago.

  55. FromThisSoil says:

    Yea. Awesome ATMs – really awesome.

    Here’s a quick little story:

    I have Bank Of America and the branch I frequent, installed these ATMs. I went to deposit a check my Dad wrote me and went through all the screens. The slot opened and I put the check in. After about 3 minutes of the machine making weird noises, it spit out a receipt that said: “We’re sorry, your items cannot be returned to you…please call the number below.”

    I called and had to put in a claim for the lost check. BoA put a temporary credit for the check’s amount right away (the only good thing).

    To make a long story short, I had to have my Dad put a stop on the check, issue me a new one, deposit the new one, call BoA, have them refund the $25 for my Dad’s stopped check, and reverse the temporary credit.

    Yea, these ATMs are really awesome – when they don’t eat your money or checks.

  56. gibsonic says:

    @jeffeb3:

    the only time i go to banks when i need to make a withdrawal. I always get the best service too when i have pantyhose over my head…owait.

  57. Voyou_Charmant says:

    They just changed the one by my house and i felt like a stupid old man. I was really thrown off by the concept of just inserting things into the machine without even needing to write anything anywhere.


    I stood there trying to figure out where the envelopes went and then i shook my fist at it, yelled at some kid to get off my lawn then explained — for hours — that back in my day…..

    It’s actually a nice feature once your mind is done being blown by it’s simplicity.

  58. Helvetian says:

    I’ve once deposited $2000 in cash, and no problems. Bank of America credited me the first $1500 for instant availability. The instant credit amount varies from the first $100, $500, $1000 or more depending on your account. However cash is somewhat risky, since no papertrail as opposed to a check, which can be reissued albeit a pain sometimes to do.

  59. meneye says:

    Big wow, my credit union has had this for awhile now. I’ve used it maybe 100 times and so far it hasn’t jammed.

  60. flatlinebb says:

    @GIBSONIC:

    How do you deposit your Mail-in-Rebate checks?

  61. @gibsonic: “very rarely have to deal with “live” checks.”

    We get three kinds of live checks on a pretty regular basis: My husband’s travel reimbursement, our flex spending account reimbursement, and our dental reimbursement. I don’t know why when they can direct deposit salary and bonuses they can’t direct deposit travel reimbursement, but whatev. I also don’t understand why the hospitals and insurance company can send the charges direct to my FSA but instead of my FSA just paying THEM, they mail me a check so *I* can pay them. The useless administration costs must be staggering. I get three statements (doctor, insurance, FSA) for every single medical moment I have. So stupid.

    Otherwise I deal with it online. I don’t truly mind going inside; it’s a credit union, it’s well-staffed, and it’s a small enough town that I frequently see someone I know in line. It’s pretty painless.

  62. HungryGrrl says:

    Does a real person still verify the deposits? In my small town bank all an ATM deposit in my mind is leaving it for the tellers to put in the next time the bank opens. I don’t consider it in my account until that happens, because, really, it isn’t.

    Does the ATM put the deposits in an envelope with your identification on it FOR YOU? Or does it just hold a big pile of cash, no way to prove what was your and what was the next dudes?

    I don’t have any problem making a deposit in person, and because I go at times when the bank isn’t busy, I don’t have to wait more than a minute. I don’t have to rush out on Friday at 5:30 PM in order to have money for the weekend. Do all of you who are complaining about teller lines and delayed ATM deposits live paycheck to paycheck?!

  63. unclejose says:

    As the son of two major bank VP’s, I am familiar with the details of ATMs and checks. Many people do not realize that the cost of a cash withdrawal from an ATM is about $1.25. These machines are expensive as well as the IT infrastructure behind them. The reason they charge $1.50 everyone but their own to use them is to try to make a little money to cover these costs.

    Cashing a check on the otherhand costs about $2 for the bank. Emptying and filling the ATM is a major cost. But a digital image of the check is all the fed requires today. So.you put money in and others take it out and checks get scanned and shredded. Much longer between filling ATM and less tellers to put up with. Win win, esp w/ credit crunch and need for non-interest based income for banks these days.

  64. SOhp101 says:

    Wells Fargo had this a long time ago. I don’t know what deposists (from the title) are though.

    @maddypilar: Issues with ATM deposits:
    – Never deposit cash… if there is an issue, it is nearly impossible for you to prove you actually put in the cash.
    – Not available for immediate withdrawal; usually only about $100 is.
    – Any errors in the deposit can’t be caught by a second person (the teller) and will cause you a lot of trouble even if it’s something stupid as forgetting to endorse your checks.
    – With this new system, lines at ATMs will be just as long as the one inside.

  65. MK121 says:

    @JDobbs:

    The Wells Fargo in my town has had them for a few years as well
    initially they were pretty slow, but theyre pretty fast now

  66. kostia says:

    The first time I used one of these BoA ATMs (near a friend’s house, in Fairfax VA, about 10 miles from home) I came home and wrote the customer service email a letter about how great they are and asking when the ATMs nearer me would be upgraded. It was one of the few times I saw something new done so, so right that I felt I needed to tell the company about it.

    Of course they never wrote me back and the BoA ATMs two minutes from my house are still the old kind. But it’s only a matter of time.

  67. Jesse in Japan says:

    Every ATM I have ever seen in Japan lets you do this. When you want to make a deposit, two boxes on the ATM open up: one for bank notes (you can do up to 100 at a time) and one for coins (also up to 100 at a time). Although not every ATM is capable of handling coins, it’s not hard to find one that is, so you don’t need anything like Coinstar.

  68. nctrnlboy says:

    I must be paranoid, because I have never deposited cash into an atm (my mother once told me never to do it. *shrug* ). I deposit all cash at the teller window where I can deal with a PERSON & get a deposit slip. I just dont trust putting paper money into an atm where it could possibly disappear on its way to getting into my account. Besides…. I rarely need to deposit cash. I only deposit checks at the atm & all I have to fill out on the deposit envelope is the amount …. I assume the atm prints my account info on the envelope when I stick it into the atm (that’s what it sounds like it is doing anyway). Sticking REAL money into an ATM just seems like a needless risk.

  69. nctrnlboy says:

    @DeeJayQueue:

    WHich “commerce” bank was this? Is it the commerce bank chain in new england or the one in the Midwest? There are at least two different chains. I deal with the commerce bank in the midwest.

    oh & sorry about the double-post.

  70. FLConsumer says:

    I think we need to make the distinction between various banks’ ATMs here. There *IS* more than one ATM manufacturer out there. Even the same bank will use varying brands & types of ATMs because of mergers & other acquisitions. Each one will function differently, and each bank will specify how the interface is to work.

    I used one of the envelope-less ATMs at a credit union about a year ago. It was quick and worked rather well.

    I’m surprised no one from the banks has commented upon the real reason for these ATMs — to prevent fraud. That’s actually the biggest selling feature to the banks. I never thought about it, but apparently quite a few people will deposit empty envelopes and take advantage of the “initial deposit” amount that the banks often offer. Similar for cash deposits as well.

    One gripe I do have is how the UNintuitive some “upgraded” ATM interfaces are. Wachovia’s retrofitting touch-screens in most of their ATMs in this area. So you walk up to the machine, hit the buttons and they don’t do anything. Likewise, there’s no “cancel” button on most of the screens, YET the cancel button on the keypad still works.

  71. johnnyboi1016 says:

    Yep, DC area has had them for a while… aside from the extra convenience the greatest new feature was the fact that the receipts showed a printed scan of the actual check, fantastic for detailed records. (I’m guessing someone already mentioned this, I didn’t read through all comments) People complaining that the internal scanner that grabs your amount should know it isn’t anywhere near perfect, which is why it asks you to verify the amount once your check goes in the machine. I would say most of the time if the check is handwritten, no matter how neat, the machine cannot read the amount and asks you for to manually punch it in. Helps remind you that the internal reader for the check amount is there for your convenience but not to be relied 100% on…

  72. mattbrown says:

    these things are so insane, it blew my mind. step 4, there was a printed image of the check with the routing and acct #s blacked out. ill.

  73. maddypilar says:

    @SOhp101: My deposits are available for immediate withdrawal from the ATM every time.

  74. Melov says:

    People actually use ATMs? Interesting.

  75. flatlinebb says:

    @Melov: Yeah! They even accommodate blind people at the drive-thru with Braille on the keypads!

  76. NoWin says:

    @NCTRNLBOY AT 12:44 AM
    WHich “commerce” bank was this? Is it the commerce bank chain in new england or the one in the Midwest? There are at least two different chains.

    Actually, there are about 5 different “Commerce” Banks, and 3 or so “Commerce Bank & Trusts” in the US that use that nomenclature.

  77. shaganasty says:

    I want to complain about the “new” ATM’s that are at my branch. These new machines do NOT allow for any privacy for deposits or withdrawals.
    If I don’t complain about it, then nothing gets done to change these machines back to a secure screen. I have forbid my wife from any transactions thru the ATM because “anyone” behind you or even to the side can SEE exactly what is on the screen.
    Also with the scanned deposits, anyone that “may” loose that transaction sheet could have issues with all the names/addresses/phone numbers that show on the screen receipt.
    Did “ANYONE” at bank of America even think “all” of this thru, I have only 10 mins with the machine making a deposit and withdraw … and seen all these security issues!
    I would like a response back letting me know if this is how it is going to be with the ATM, (unsecure) because if it is, I need to re-think our banking. (And I do know that Bank of America doesn’t care of the people that have been with them for 37 years.. just another account, to BofA)