As we move more and more toward a cashless society, you may be left wondering how to deposit cash into your bank account.
While it’s true that cash deposits are becoming less common, there are still times when you may need to deposit cash. This is especially true if you work in an industry that deals in cash, like the restaurant or tourism industries.
Also, what if you deal with an online bank? How do you deposit cash when there are no physical locations or ATMs? Let’s take a closer look at the different ways to deposit cash at both brick and mortar and online banks.
Table of Contents
- How to Deposit Cash at a Local Bank
- How to Deposit Money Into an Online-Only Bank Account
- Safety Tips for Depositing Cash
- Always Get a Receipt
- Be Aware of Your Surroundings
- Be Discreet
- Check Your Bank Account for Confirmation
- Final Thoughts on Depositing Cash
How to Deposit Cash at a Local Bank
Depositing cash at a local bank account is the easiest method, even if you have to get in your car and drive to the branch. Here are two rather obvious options for depositing cash when you bank at a local bank.
Deposit Money at the Bank Teller
If you deal with a local bank, you should be able to deposit cash in person at any branch location. This includes out-of-state areas, which may be applicable if you’re banking at a national bank like Wells Fargo.
Typically, all locations that share a bank’s name are inter-connected. For that reason, you can usually choose any location of the same bank name/company and deposit your cash with a teller at that location.
Deposit Money at an ATM
Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are the most convenient option for depositing cash. ATMs often have envelopes close to the ATM so that you can deposit cash securely within the locked machine. Many new ATMs don’t even require the use of envelopes. The nice thing about depositing money through an ATM is that it’s available 24/7
Note: Your bank may allow you to deposit funds at in-network ATMs outside of a branch location, but most offsite ATMs are owned by a third party and cannot accommodate deposits. So, you may be limited to making cash deposits at the ATMs where you bank.
How to Deposit Money at a Credit Union
Most credit unions participate in the Shared Branching Network and have different rules than banks regarding ATM deposits. Shared Branching is a national network that many credit unions choose to join to give clients access to banking services throughout the U.S.
Suppose your credit union is a part of the Shared Branching network. In that case, you can deposit cash at any of the other Shared Branching network locations – even if that location isn’t one of your credit union locations.
Talk to a representative at your credit union or check your credit union’s website to find out if it is a member of the Shared Branching network.
There is typically no fee for depositing cash (or checks) at a Shared Branching network location that isn’t your actual credit union.
Using a Shared Branching network location outside of your actual credit union is just like banking at your credit union; you can make withdrawals, loan payments, and more.
Next, let’s talk about how to deposit cash into an online-only bank account.
How to Deposit Money Into an Online-Only Bank Account
Depositing cash into your bank account when you have an online-only bank account is a different ball game.
All online banks have different policies, but most of the time, you can’t use an ATM or deposit at a partner branch location when depositing cash or checks.
Here are some tips for depositing cash when you have an online-only bank account.
Deposit Into Your Local Bank and Complete a Transfer
You could use your local bank to deposit the cash as long as you have an account with a brick-and-mortar bank.
Once you’ve deposited the funds, transfer the money online to your online-only bank account once the deposit shows up in your local bank account. You could also write a personal check and deposit it to your online bank via mobile deposit if they allow it.
This is a common practice for digital bank users and should be a relatively easy route to getting cash into your online-only account.
If you don’t have a local bank account, you may want to consider opening one. Many local banks have free checking accounts that you can open and then use when needed.
Buy a Money Order
Another option for depositing cash into your online-only bank account is to purchase a money order. Money orders are available at local banks and service counters in Walmarts, drug stores, and many other stores.
After you purchase the money order, you can use your online bank’s mobile deposit feature to snap a photo of the money order and wait for your bank to credit the money to your account. Note that most retailers charge a modest fee of a few dollars or so for the purchase of money orders.
Use Green Dot
Green Dot is a fintech company that allows you to deposit cash at many popular retailers like CVS Pharmacy and Walmart.
You start by downloading the Green Dot app and linking it to your bank account. When you make your cash deposit at a partner retailer, Green Dot will ensure the cash gets deposited into your online bank account.
The whole process usually takes about 20 minutes from deposit to account credit but could take longer. Note that Green Dot does charge a fee for this purchase, normally $4.95. The amount may be higher or lower depending on the retailer or other factors.
Safety Tips for Depositing Cash
Walking around with cash can pose risks, as you can lose the money, misplace it, or run the risk of being robbed. Here are some tips for when you’re carrying cash to deposit at a bank or an ATM.
Always Get a Receipt
Whenever depositing cash, be sure to get a receipt from the bank teller or the ATM. Having worked in banking for over 15 years, I can tell you that things happen. ATMs malfunction from time to time, so you need proof of your deposit.
Save yourself some trouble by ensuring you always get a receipt for cash deposits. Keep the receipt for at least a month so that you can be sure you’ve got records in case there is miscommunication between you and the bank regarding your cash deposit.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Here’s a tip I learned in a self-defense training class: Always be aware of your surroundings.
Depending on the industry you work in, you may have to carry around a lot of cash. And I can assure you that there are always criminals out there searching for “opportunistic” crimes.
Don’t put yourself in a situation where you can be the victim. Be aware of who and what is around you as you make your cash deposit.
Wait for the area you’re in to be free of lurking strangers as you walk into the bank. Choose ATMs with separate entry rooms and locking doors if you’re visiting an in-store ATM, especially at night.
If need be, put off making your cash deposit until daylight when there is more activity, and there’s a branch location open for business.
Be discreet when carrying large amounts of cash. Keep in your pocket and don’t let anyone know you’ve got a large amount of money with you. The fewer people that know you’re carrying large amounts of cash, the better. As the adage goes: It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Check Your Bank Account for Confirmation
Lastly, check your bank account to ensure the bank credited your cash deposit to your account. Note that depending on the time of day you made the deposit, it may take up to 36 hours for the money to appear in your bank account. And if you deposited on a Friday night, it might not show up in your bank account until Tuesday morning.
If it takes any longer than that, be sure to contact your bank to have them start an investigation process. Hint: This is where having your receipt will come in handy, so keep those receipts!
Final Thoughts on Depositing Cash
Making a cash deposit into your bank account may be a rare occurrence for you. But when you need to do it, you want to make sure the process is safe and as seamless as possible. And remember – if you deal with a digital bank, you have options. Follow the tips I’ve listed here to ensure your money gets put where it belongs.