Saturday, December 5, 2015

Still Life With Robin: Take It to the Bank

Photo by Bill Adler
by Peggy Robin

Earlier this week I did something I have not done in perhaps a year, maybe longer. I deposited a check at my bank. I mean I physically took the check and walked over to the bank and waited in line for a teller and handed over the check with a deposit slip. Oh, I deposit checks all the time, but just not at the bank. I do it by “mobile deposit” -- meaning I call up the banking app on my phone, take a photo on the front and back of the check, and fill in the amount and add a memo, and then press “deposit.” It’s very convenient when it works, although about half the time, my banking app rejects my first attempt to photograph the check, and I have to do it again. And sometimes a third or fourth time. “Get closer,” it tells me. “More light” it demands. Sometimes, after I have taken the photo and it seems to have been accepted, it asks ME if I think the photo is good enough….and I figure it’s asking for a reason, so I capitulate to its passive-aggressive pout and take the photo over again, until it tells me “Success!” (I think it would give me a cookie, if it could.)

Yesterday was another story. Even after I took a picture of the front and back of the check and both snapshots were deemed acceptable, at the end the banking app informed me that I had entered an amount not matching the number shown on the front of the check. This was not a case of bad photography -- more likely a case of bad handwriting on the part of the check writer. Her numerals did not look like printed numbers but the amount spelled out in words verified the figure I had punched into the amount box. But the app does have any way to consider the evidence of the spelled-out version. Only a human teller could do that. So there was no remedy other than to walk down to the bank and show the check to a person with the good sense and the authority to get the bank to accept the check for the amount that was fuzzily written in figures.

I supposed I should not have been annoyed at having to do something that I used to do routinely, but I’ve been so spoiled by the convenience of mobile banking, that here I am complaining about having to take a short walk on a bright, crisp day.

On second thought, I withdraw the complaint.
Still Life With Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

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