Bank of America Fumbles with New Deposit App

In a development that may disappoint its 5 million mobile banking customers, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) tells MyBankTracker that it will not be debuting its mobile check deposit feature until the second half of this year. The bank had earlier planned to unroll the new feature by June 30.

Tara Burke, a spokesperson for Bank of America, told MyBankTracker that the company’s “initial tests were very successful,” but would not say what caused the delay or give a new launch date.

“We are less focused on being first-to-market and more focused on being right-to-market and ensuring we deliver the most effective products and services to our customers — this has been and will continue to be our approach to digital delivery,” Burke said.

Speculation has it that the delay may not be the result of a technological issue, but may instead be tied to a rumored plan to begin charging fees for every check deposited.

Bank of America opened itself up to customer backlash last year when it announced plans to begin charging fees to debt card users, ultimately abandoning the idea after consumers threatened to close their accounts, en masse.

By bundling the new feature with the added fee, Bank of America may be hoping to make it more palatable for customers by creating the perception that they are getting something in return for their money.

Bank of America would not be alone in charging deposit fees, or would Bank of America be the first to allow customers to deposit checks via their mobile devices. U.S. Bank, the fifth largest bank in the country, charges 50 cents per check, while USAA bank, which is one of the biggest providers of banking and financial services to military personnel and their families, was the first to pioneer mobile check deposits back in 2009.

Chase (NYSE:JPM), having recently dethroned Bank of America as the nation’s biggest bank, introduced a mobile deposit feature for the iPhone (NASDAQ:AAPL) in July 2010, and later introduced a deposit feature for Android (NASDAQ:GOOG) in November 2010.

Bank of America is thought to have already lost customers because of its delay, and if the company decides to combine the service with new fees, could be looking at a mass exodus.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Morris at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com