On depositing a paper check, using an iPhone, to a virtual bank, over the Internet

We're entering a brave new world, and I just experienced a piece of that world.  It's this high tech nirvana thing that will supposedly be all wonderful and gooey.  For over 10 years I've been using a "virtual bank" as my primary bank, specifically ING Direct.  They offer excellent services and a high interest rate on all accounts.  One aspect of this bank is it has no branches, and does not own a network of ATM's.  That's more or less okay except for those times when someone does something as quaint as handing me a paper check.  Haven't they heard of paypal?  Well, Paypal isn't the best choice for exchanging money because of the high fees involved.

The question here is: How do you deposit a paper check to a virtual bank, like ING Direct, without finding an ATM that is certified for use with ING Direct?

In any case I just received a paper check from a magazine for whom I'd written an article.  (It's the Jun/Jul 2012 issue of Charged Magazine)

In the past I'd gotten frustrated over the ING Direct account because of the difficulty with depositing paper checks.  With a regular bank you go to the ATM, put in your card, sign the check, and away it goes into the innards of the system, and you can get your money in a few days.  But because ING Direct doesn't have ATM's it was always a bit of a hurdle that I never crossed.  Okay, yes, ING Direct has agreement with thousands of ATM's across the country, and I think there's one a half mile away, but I never bothered to figure out how to use it.  But now I've found a solution that's way simpler than going to an ATM, and can be done from anywhere.

Nowadays ING Direct lets you deposit a check by taking a picture of the check, uploading the check images, and presto a few days later you have your money.

The iPhone APP for ING Direct makes it real simple.  After signing in to the application using the same authentication steps as for the website, there's a choice for making deposits.  To deposit a check, simply use the iPhone camera to take pictures of the front and back, enter the amount of the check, which account to deposit into, and away it goes.

Get the ING DIRECT iPhone APP