What Is a Night Depository?

A night depository is a bank drop box where merchants can deposit their daily cash, checks, and credit card slips outside of normal banking hours (usually between 9 AM and 5 PM). The bank will collect the deposits and credit them to the merchant's account on the following business day.

Night Depository Explained

Night depositories provide additional security for merchants, since they don't have to keep this money at their business location overnight, where it might be vulnerable to theft. Night depositories can lower risk in this regard.

Instead of the envelopes that individual customers use to make bank deposits at ATMs, merchants often use lockable zippered bags, which are more secure and hold a larger volume of paper.

For example, Pittsburg-based PNC Bank offers its night depository service, PNC DepositEasy, as an "envelope-free" way to make cash or check deposits, anytime of day or night. This includes both weekends and holidays.

Night Depository and Other Forms of Money Transfers

Wire transfers allow people in different geographic locations to safely transfer money to locales and financial institutions around the globe. Many use wire transfers to move larger amounts of funds more rapidly and securely than other methods, such as withdrawals and subsequent deposits. A wire transfer is an electronic transfer of funds across a network administered by hundreds of banks around the world. Wire transfers can allow for the individualized sending of funds from single individuals or entities to other individuals or entities, with a particular focus on efficient international exchanges.

Both wire transfers and night depositories allow for deposits outside of normal banking hours.

Depositing money into a typical checking account in most forms qualifies as a transaction deposit. This means that funds are available for immediate withdrawal (i.e. they are liquid), without delays.

The exception to this is a time deposit or a certificate of deposit (CD), which is a savings account that restricts withdrawals within a certain time period (usually 30 days to five years). In most cases, a depositor must give the financial institution notice prior to withdrawing funds if they plan to do so before the time limit expires. A bank may charge fees for doing so.

Night Depository and Other Commercial Bank Services

Night depositories are one of several services that commercial banks may offer their customers. In addition, popular banks like T.D. Bank and Citibank might offer checking account services, in addition to business, personal, and mortgage loans, and even basic financial products like certificates of deposit (CDs) and savings accounts. Commercial banks may offer these to both individuals and small businesses.