ING Direct Canada is testing a cheque depositing service for mobile phones that will help it get rid of some paper.
The bank has started a pilot project with 1,500 of its clients, allowing them to take a picture of a cheque for deposit with their smartphone.
It says it's also taking advantage of new regulations that eliminate the need for clients to also send in the cheque after a mobile deposit.
Once ING Direct Canada receives a picture of a cheque from a mobile phone, it then creates a document to clear the cheque.
The bank, headquartered in Toronto, says it hopes to offer the service to all 250,000 clients using its mobile application.
ING Direct has about 1.8 million customers in Canada.
"We think it's taking a step out of having to mail a cheque and making it a very seamless experience for our customers," said Charaka Kithulegoda, ING Direct Canada's chief information officer.
"It's simple for our customers. It's simple for us. Hopefully we'll save a few trees as well."
Kithulegoda said the Canadian Payments Association recently approved the changes, which no longer require that an actual cheque had to be mailed to the bank.
"Any bank can do it, but we are the first bank to actually take advantage of it."
He noted that in the United States, mobile cheque depositing is more advanced.
"Today, we've got to produce a paper document behind the scenes to put it through the clearing system," he said.
"In the States, you can actually take that image that is captured and put the image through the clearing system. There's no paper at all, at any point."