Bank Of America Mobile App Says Money Orders Are Allowed, Rejects My Money Order Deposit

Before snapping photos of her money order with Bank of America’s mobile deposit app, April took the time to make sure that money orders were permitted. She lives 200 miles away from the nearest Bank of America (yes, there is such a place in this country) and can’t go to a branch or ATM to deposit it. The app’s “help” section said that money orders are totally allowed, so she went ahead with the deposit. They rejected it, and customer service told her that money orders can’t be deposited with the mobile app. Well, fine. Maybe she’ll just go ahead and deposit that money order at a bank that’s local to her.

Today, I attempted to deposit a money order via Bank of America Mobile Deposit, after thoroughly checking in the Help section under “Acceptable Items” that Money Orders were, indeed, able to be deposited in this way.

(click to enlarge)

When my clear, well-lit, well-framed photos were returned as “Cannot Be Read” several times, I contact customer support, who informed me that, despite the very clearly worded information available in the app’s Help menu, ONLY checks can be deposited this way, and I would need to travel to a BofA location to deposit my money order.

Now, I moved to Montana from Massachusetts recently and have only kept my 8-year-old Bank of America account despite their lack of locations in this and many neighboring states because I am able to deposit checks via Mobile Deposit. (The nearest ATM or Branch is over 200 miles away.) When I pointed this out to the Customer Service rep and said that these sorts of oversights and misinformation could result in closing my account, she told me they wanted to keep me as a customer but could offer no alternative solutions.

We sent an e-mail to Bank of America’s media contact to see whether they know what the mobile deposit policy on money order is, because the app designers and their own customer service staff clearly don’t agree.

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  1. lvdave says:

    Just one more reason to dump BofA.. Many years ago, just out of college, I had a BofA checking account and a credit card with them.. They screwed me royally, and I swore I’d NEVER do business with them again, and until the big mortgage snafu a few years ago, I kept that promise to myself.. But alas, the mortgage we have on our house which was with Countrywide.. I think you’ll see where I’m going with this… Is now with BofA… Yeah.. I know, refinance it with another lender.. Believe ME I would.. IF I could.. Being in Las Vegas, and according to Zillow, the house is worth 71K and we owe 113K on it.. Good luck finding a lender who will refinance in this case.. Every month, I cross my fingers and hope that I’m not the next horror story victim with BofA…

  2. haoshufu says:

    It would be nice to know who is the issuer of the money order.

    I admit that the check acceptance clause might be too broad but everyone needs to understand there are limitations in optical recognition technologies and is not reasonable to expect BoA computers to be able to read every single check’s appearance in existance. I would be a little less forgiving if it was a USPS money order and any bank issued money order.

    • GearheadGeek says:

      Since the screen shot of the app just says “Money order” without specifying the issuer, and customer service says NO money orders can be deposited with the mobile app, I’m siding with the OP on this. If it said USPS Money Order and it’s a Western Union MO, that would be another case altogether.

    • Oh_No84 says:

      Actually they can read every check in existence as long as you take a clear picture.
      Checks have standards on placement and font so if you can read one check you can read them all.
      There is only 1 limitation and that is the picture must be clear.

      • MrMongerty says:

        I use scanning technology at a bank and I will tell you right now that “they can scan every check in existence” is not correct.

        Part of what I do involves going through electronically submitted work and telling the machine what items are Money orders since it recognizes them as “unknown items”

        There are also issues with font (a lot of MO use that odd number with a word inside font) and print darkness.

      • ashley440 says:

        You are correct that checks do have standards that make almost all of them readable by scanner and imaging, but a money order is NOT a check. It doesn’t have the same kind of MICR encoding at the bottom and the printed dollar amount is usually difficult to read even with the naked eye, much less in an image format. BoA should change the Help section of its app so it is an accurate reflection of the truth, but I’m not surprised that money orders cannot be accepted via a mobile app.

  3. Pete the Geek says:

    I lived in a remote community in northern Canada for a number of years where the nearest branch of my bank was 1000 Km away. I would just mail cheques (or “checks” as they are called in the USA) to my “home” branch for them to deposit. I’m sure they would have accepted anything for deposit, including money orders. The disconnect between BoA’s app and procedures is aggravating, because that information doesn’t just accidentally get into the app.

  4. donjumpsuit says:

    Money orders are pretty much as good as cash. You can go to the bank of issue, western union or the USPS to cash them or in some cases supermarkets (I believe but I may be naive).

  5. Oh_No84 says:

    I hope you know you can mail it in, right?

    • msbaskx2 says:

      Maybe the issue is speed? I don’t know how long it takes to mail in a money order and wait for it to post to an account. Mobile Deposits are usually done within a day.

  6. MrMongerty says:

    I work for a bank, and I can say that a lot of money orders have security features that make it difficult for the automatic imaging systems to pick up amounts or even recognize the item.

    I imagine they are not specifically not allowing money orders, just that the type you are trying to use is not being read correctly. (Moneygram is one I think has a lot of issues, as well as some Western Union). They probably allow you to deposit them if the application can read them correctly…. The customer service person probably just uses the boilerplate answer because it is easier or they don’t really know.

    • usa_gatekeeper says:

      We receive Moneygram money orders frequently as rent payment and every time we deposit one at the BofA ATM, we have to key in the amount – the machine can never read the amount. Hell, even WE have a hard time reading the amount with our own eyes!

      Anyway, if they won’t work at ATMs, we can’t imagine them working with a mobile app.

  7. Arctic Snowbot says:

    I just made the switch to USAA, and while it isn’t as easy as they tout, I already know I’m going to be much happier with them. Eff you, BofA!

  8. Sarek says:

    WF Cust Rep: Oh, those silly IT guys, always pranking us! They put money orders on the list on the website just to fool with you! Aren’t they outrageous? You’re not going to really hold us to that, are you?

  9. NorthAlabama says:

    solution: mail the deposit.

    mail: a letter or package that is sent by means of the postal system, generally involving a container, such as an envelope, and a stamp.

  10. mmmveggies says:

    This exact thing happened to me! My grandparents sent me a money order for my birthday, but ING mobile deposit rejected it (I didn’t check first). So I went to the HSBC atm and deposited it, and it DISAPPEARED. No record of the deposit, tho in the past they made $100 available immediately. I went to the branch today and they said money orders are checks, so it’s on hold. If it was a check then why didn’t ING take it??