Short Answer: As long as your prepaid card offers a mobile deposit service and you have the mobile app on your phone, you can deposit a paper check to your prepaid card. You may also be able to deposit a check in person or at an ATM, depending on the card issuer. For more information on loading a check to a prepaid card, see below.
How to Deposit a Check to a Prepaid Card
To deposit a check (including a personal check) to a prepaid card, you will need to install the card issuer’s own mobile app or an approved third-party check cashing app on your phone. You may also be able to make an in-person or ATM deposit if the card allows retail deposits or is issued by a bank with branch locations.
We’ve outlined the details for each deposit method below. To gather this information, we contacted customer service representatives for prepaid card issuers like Green Dot, Netspend, and more.
Most prepaid cards have a smartphone app with a mobile deposit feature. If you don’t know whether your prepaid card allows mobile check deposits, you can contact customer service at the number listed on your card or see our list of prepaid cards with mobile deposit capability.
To make a mobile deposit, you will need to download your card issuer’s app from the App Store (iOS devices) or Google Play (Android devices) or use an approved third-party mobile deposit app like Ingo Money. Endorse your check and write “for mobile deposit only” below your signature. Then open the mobile app’s deposit camera, take photos of the front and back of the check, and follow the steps to complete the mobile deposit.
Your wireless carrier may charge data fees for the mobile deposit process, and depending on the prepaid card, you may also incur transaction fees of around $5. (Find more information about fees in our dedicated research on prepaid cards with mobile deposits.) Depending on the issuer, your check may clear immediately or take several days. You should keep the check at least until you have received the full deposit amount on your prepaid card.
The funds will be deposited into your card account (also known as a deposit account) with the card-issuing company. These accounts allow the companies to make sure the funds are FDIC-insured. Some apps may also allow you to link an existing bank account for deposits.
In-Person and ATM Deposits
Some prepaid cards are issued by banks that have physical branches or that partner with retailers like Walmart to allow in-person reloads. If your card offers in-person deposits, you should be able to take a check into the bank to a teller or in-store money services counter for deposit. You will sign the check and provide your ID and your prepaid card.
You may also be able to use your prepaid card to deposit a paper check at an ATM, depending upon the card issuer. We spoke with customer service representatives for the following banks and card issuers, all of which offer in-person and/or ATM check deposits for their prepaid cardholders: