Marco Arment has a post on the complexity he found with Chase’s app check-deposit process and the relative simplicity he found with the traditional ATM check-deposit process. In the end, he concludes:
Sometimes, new technology is not progress.
I don’t doubt Arment’s experience, but I think the conclusion is still not warranted.
One reason that Arment found the traditional ATM check-deposit process easier is that he “end[s] up walking past a Chase ATM regularly.” Another reason that he found the traditional process easier is that it handles multiple checks quicker. All true. Of some people.
If you don’t live or work in a city, it’s significantly more of a hassle to go to an ATM. Worse, if you don’t have a branch near you, then it’s a real hassle. (Arment readily concedes this point.) Many people only rarely get checks. So having to deposit multiple checks isn’t an issue. For these people, having the option of depositing a check from home is a godsend.
And that’s what technology is about: giving more options to more people. Sure, there will be people who, in their particular circumstances, find using a typewriter preferable to a computer and a dumbphone preferable to a smartphone. But that doesn’t diminish the new option that a new technology offers. In this case, new technology is progress — even if it is no better (or worse) for some people.