First Direct cheque app incredibly picky about images

This is definitely in the 'vent' category....

I received a cheque for the princely sum of £5.  Having not used the First Direct cheque paying in function on the app before, I thought this would be a good time to try it out.

Having put the cheque on a dark background, as recommended, I have proceeded to take literally dozens, if not hundreds of images which have come up with the various error messages:

- we detected that one of the corners may be folded (none of them are)
- the image created is not in valid dimensions
- we couldn't read the details from the image
- document boundaries detected are not in an acceptable size
- the picture captured is over skewed
- we detected one of the edges is torn or missing (none of them are, unless you count the tiny perforations where the cheque was neatly detached from the cheque book)

I'm trying to capture the image with a new phone (>3 months old) and the camera lens is clean.  I've tried it with the camera flash on, and the flash off, and it doesn't seem to make any difference as I get the range of error messages with both settings.  I'm using the latest version of the app.  I've tried 'dark mode'.  

I suppose at least I had fun having a bet with myself as to which error message was going to pop up next.

It looks like it's off to the bank branch after the bank holiday to pay it in the old fashioned way.....

Comments

  • IvanOpinion
    IvanOpinion Posts: 22,181 Forumite
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    edited 1 May 2021 at 5:44PM
    A couple of things to try
    - make sure that the light is even across the entire item being photographed (better without flash)
    - make sure the background is plain (our expenses app often fails if the photo is taken with a desk as the background  - it doesn't like the woodgrain)
    Past caring about first world problems.
  • greyteam1959
    greyteam1959 Posts: 4,576 Forumite
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    Post the cheque to first direct.

  • ComicGeek
    ComicGeek Posts: 1,539 Forumite
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    I had the same problem with the Barclays app - I found that it was extremely sensitive to light levels, so it only works in natural daylight close to a window on a dark background, but not in direct sunlight or artificial light. 
  • FatherTireseus
    FatherTireseus Posts: 179 Forumite
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    Thanks for the responses.  I was taking the picture on a black background, and on a windowsill with natural light, but not direct sunlight.

    I've tried again this morning and the most common error message today is that the cheque is torn or has an edge missing.  All I can think of is that the cheque is drawn on a Barclays account, which has a faint image of their corporate 'eagle' logo on it, which makes one edge of the cheque appear a little lighter.  Still, against a black background, that shouldn't make much of a difference as there is enough of a contrast between the whole cheque and the background.

    I did leave a review of the app on the 'Play' store and I did get a response quite quickly, but the best they could suggest was paying it in at a bank branch, the post office, or posting it to them!

    Ah, technology, making your life easier right up until the point it doesn't.
  • nyermen
    nyermen Posts: 1,093 Forumite
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    edited 4 May 2021 at 7:45AM
    Out of interest was it a different sized cheque (such as a business one?)
    When I got a small refund from my conveyancer it was a business cheque a bit bigger than my own ones, and HSBC’s app just wouldnt have it, I ended up having to sort it in branch.  Different app, but suspect they use the same algorithm for cheque verification.
    Edit: I think it was a barclays business account, I remember the light blue (1.5 years ago :))
    Peter

    Debt free - finally finished paying off £20k + Interest.
  • nyermen said:
    Out of interest was it a different sized cheque (such as a business one?)
    When I got a small refund from my conveyancer it was a business cheque a bit bigger than my own ones, and HSBC’s app just wouldnt have it, I ended up having to sort it in branch.  Different app, but suspect they use the same algorithm for cheque verification.
    Edit: I think it was a barclays business account, I remember the light blue (1.5 years ago :))
    Apologies for the delay in replying; it was a cheque from a sports club as a small prize in their monthly draw.  It was a little larger than the 'normal' personal cheque size - actually about the same width, and a centimetre deeper.  It wasn't like the cheques you sometimes get attached to letters which are the width of an A4 piece of paper.
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