Some consumers can deposit a check into their bank accounts by snapping a photo of it with their camera-enabled mobile devices.
Soon, account holders at U.S. Bank will be able to do the same with the bills they get in the mail.
The Minneapolis-based bank, which is the 11th-biggest deposit gatherer in the Chicago area, will offer Mitek Systems' Photo Bill Pay to customers starting in early 2013.
The service eliminates the need to manually enter payment information and allows the customer to pay bills directly from their mobile devices -- specifically iPhone, iPad and Android phones -- by simply taking a picture of the bill. The technology extracts the relevant information from the paper bill and fills in the fields needed to make a mobile payment. The consumer then may schedule the payment, edit if necessary, and click "pay."
The process saves customers hundreds of key strokes, a U.S. Bank spokeswoman said.
U.S. Bank, the nation's fifth-biggest bank with $352 billion in assets, began offering mobile check deposit in 2010. Chase is also among the major banks offering mobile check deposits, though it currently doesn't offer mobile photo bill pay.
To use Mobile Photo Bill Pay, the U.S. Bank customer must have a user ID and password. Customers can sign up on the app if they don't have a ID and password, a spokeswoman said.
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