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Why USAA is the coolest bank ever, still! - A Suburbs Boy Living a Country Life [Pete and Pam's pages (photos and some commentary)] [Pam's journal] [Our company] [My Flickr Photos] [Arisia]
November 8th, 2006
06:54 am

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Why USAA is the coolest bank ever, still!
If you are or were in the military or are entering into a military officer candidate commissioning program, or your parent was a member, you should join.

Because USAA has always served the global US military community, they have always been the first to offer online and web access, long before it was cool. Because you can't just walk up to a branch at your post in Outer Nowheristan, and your family probably doesn't live in San Antonio, first they offered free US mail deposit envelopes. Then, for those "got to have the money faster" situations, free next day UPS QuickPost envelopes.

Now you can be your own teller with USAA's Deposit @ Home. I just endorsed a check, scanned the front and back using their applet, and the money was immediately available in my account.

Branches? We don't need no steenkin' branches.

Coolest. Bank. Ever.

Current Mood: pleasedpleased

(28 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:owenthomas
Date:November 8th, 2006 12:57 pm (UTC)
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Grump. Windows only.
[User Picture]
From:ckd
Date:November 8th, 2006 05:59 pm (UTC)
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Grump indeed; when I saw this, my first thought was "gotta go buy a scanner". I'm not willing to put any of my financial data anywhere near a Windows box.
[User Picture]
From:happypete
Date:November 8th, 2006 06:38 pm (UTC)

FWIW

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It's a Java applet, using [presumably] the Windows JVM's "native interface" to the Scanner.

I don't know why they are making it Windows only--but I haven't seen their code. They may be making JNI calls directly to the Windows scanner driver. [I don't know if Java has a "native" concept of a scanner/imaging device].

I don't know if the scanned image is even saved as a temporary file on the Windows box.
[User Picture]
From:owenthomas
Date:November 10th, 2006 05:22 am (UTC)

Re: FWIW

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Grump. So despite Java being natively supported in Mac OS X's development environment - you don't get much easier than writing Java apps for the Mac, in other words - USAA's app doesn't run on the Mac because some idiot decided to use Microsoft's nonstandard JVM. Grump.
[User Picture]
From:happypete
Date:November 10th, 2006 03:19 pm (UTC)

Re: FWIW

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Negative ghostrider...this applet runs on Sun's JRE 5.0, update 4 or higher...The Microsoft JVM is a distant memory--very few people still have it.

Java is "platform independent," but it allows you to use this thing called the "Java Native Interface" to reach under the hood and do platform-dependent things.

You can only blame USAA for this...then again, since USAA actually listens to its customers, I think a quick visit to the "Contact Us" link is warranted...["Hey, USAA programmer people...Macs have scanners, too, yanno...."]
[User Picture]
From:fiddle_dragon
Date:November 10th, 2006 03:47 pm (UTC)

Re: FWIW

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Though he has a point - if they're *going* to use JNI, they should be able to do packaging that deploys to different environments - or they should just go ahead and try doing without JNI altogether if possible.
[User Picture]
From:happypete
Date:November 10th, 2006 07:34 pm (UTC)

Re: FWIW

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I totally agree--I won't try to defend USAA on this one. We can speculate that they were tight on budget, ran into a problem, and ended up falling back on a platform-specific solution.

Actually, I find it very likely that they licensed some 3rd-party "jar" for the scanning and image manipulation that was only written to support Windows. Shame on them.
[User Picture]
From:madbodger
Date:November 10th, 2006 08:48 pm (UTC)

Re: FWIW

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The FCC made this mistake with their (legally required) online licensing system. Only Netscape, only under Windows, only on X86. Bzzzzzt!
[User Picture]
From:fiddle_dragon
Date:November 10th, 2006 03:48 pm (UTC)

Re: FWIW

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But yes - that would be the developer's fault - not the VMs fault ;)
[User Picture]
From:owenthomas
Date:November 11th, 2006 04:05 am (UTC)

Re: FWIW

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Good idea! Squeaky wheel gets the port.
[User Picture]
From:happypete
Date:November 11th, 2006 12:14 pm (UTC)

Re: FWIW

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Let me know what they say
[User Picture]
From:eeedge
Date:November 8th, 2006 01:24 pm (UTC)
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*Really*? I haven't used that function yet.

To this point, I've always had a local bank so that I can deposit physical checks. It's been a bit of a hassle 'cause I've also had my paycheck direct deposited there so there were no fees, but then I have to transfer it over and so on.

*Really*?

I need to check that out this morning!
[User Picture]
From:happypete
Date:November 8th, 2006 06:39 pm (UTC)

Didn't kno you were a fellow USAA-an...

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Did your dad go direct commission, back in the day?
[User Picture]
From:eeedge
Date:November 9th, 2006 05:01 pm (UTC)

Re: Didn't kno you were a fellow USAA-an...

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My grandfather was an admiral in the Coast Guard. It qualifies me, apparently. I don't think it will qualify my girls, though.
[User Picture]
From:happypete
Date:November 9th, 2006 05:48 pm (UTC)

Re: Didn't kno you were a fellow USAA-an...

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Hmm...I think they qualify under "parent was a USAA member." The trick for that, IIRC, is that you need to open a USAA Savings account for each of them--$5 will do. That gets them assigned a USAA member number, and they are set for life.

I'd call the bank and ask...
[User Picture]
From:eeedge
Date:November 13th, 2006 06:27 pm (UTC)

Re: Didn't kno you were a fellow USAA-an...

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Heck, both girls have had savings accounts that have had tiny amounts of money put in each month for about 3 years now. I think they could go to college on those accounts for 3 days apiece.
[User Picture]
From:coleoptera
Date:November 8th, 2006 02:19 pm (UTC)
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Jessica uses them...I like how they reimburse for other banks' ATM fees.
[User Picture]
From:happypete
Date:November 8th, 2006 06:40 pm (UTC)

Yeah...

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that's the bestest...free ATM?

They're ALL free for me! BWAHAHAHAHA!
[User Picture]
From:gonzy317
Date:November 8th, 2006 02:49 pm (UTC)

WOW!

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We've used USAA for years, but I had no clue about the Deposit at home thingy-ma-do-hickey-jig. Will have to definitely check out said thingy-ma-do-hickey-jig right away!

Thanks!!

*wow*!
[User Picture]
From:happypete
Date:November 8th, 2006 06:44 pm (UTC)

Re: WOW!

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I go to the USAA web site constantly, and just noticed it today, so it has to be very new...
[User Picture]
From:teddywolf
Date:November 8th, 2006 04:51 pm (UTC)
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I have to admit, that is *amazingly* cool.
But that brings up a question for me: usually, after you deposit a check into a bank, the bank will then mail the check to the originating bank. What do you do with the original check post-scanning?

I wonder if Dad knows about the bank...
[User Picture]
From:happypete
Date:November 8th, 2006 06:43 pm (UTC)

If Dad was in the armed forces...

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...be telling him; esp. because if he becomes a member _ you _ become eligible!

You can print out a copy of the scanned images for your records, obviously USAA keeps them as well to present to the issuing bank...

The orginal paper check? It has now served its purpose. Write VOID on it and rip it into little pieces...

The writer of the check gets back only the scanned image from their bank. If it's a bank that still returns paper checks, I think they print out the scan with a notation that the original was disposed of during presentment, per the new Check XXI rules.
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From:nolly
Date:November 8th, 2006 07:53 pm (UTC)
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Whoa. I hope my bank does that soon. I can't do USAA because neither I nor my parents are or were military.
[User Picture]
From:wasabi_poptart
Date:November 8th, 2006 11:57 pm (UTC)
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that? rocks.

how do you activate it? I can't find the link on the website

(member since 1991)
[User Picture]
From:happypete
Date:November 9th, 2006 12:20 am (UTC)

just click on any of your bank accounts

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it isn't on the home page, but when I click on my checking account from the summary, it appears in the list of options on the far right...
From:(Anonymous)
Date:December 8th, 2006 09:46 pm (UTC)

only 5%

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- Only 5% of USAA customers have Macs so MS was supported first.
- Mac is being worked (low prioity)
- TWAIN is used and there is a problem with TWAIN and MAC OS that I don't understand (I'm a mainframe programmer)

USAA employee
[User Picture]
From:happypete
Date:December 8th, 2006 11:40 pm (UTC)

Re: only 5%

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Thanks for your note!

How did you find me?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 8th, 2007 02:00 pm (UTC)

Re: only 5%

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Very impressive. Did USAA develop this in-house? Or, is this a 3rd party solution?
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