What is a Night Depository?

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  • Written By: Mary Elizabeth
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2019
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A night depository is a deposit receptacle place in the wall of a building to accept deposits when the building is closed — including before and after business hours and on holidays — and hold them securely until the building reopens and the deposits can be processed by employees. Night depositories are used in a variety of settings. While they are often associated with banks, they are also employed at other financial institutions, such as credit unions, as well as at government offices, and insurance companies. Night depository boxes may also be used for the return of books or media to stores or libraries, the deposit of rent checks or mortgage payments, and the payment of utility bills.

A night depository may be used for the deposit of a variety of items, placed in envelopes, or secured in clear tamper-evident deposit bags, lockable zippered bags, or deposit pouches. The items usually placed in a bank’s night depository are deposits, including cash and checks, as well as credit card slips, providing merchants with a secure place outside of their place of business to put their day’s receipts. In some cases, a neighboring ATM (Automated Teller Machine) provides a receipt. In any case, the deposits are proved and credited to the proper account when the bank opens.


A night depository is likely to be made of stainless steel. It may be made for walk-up customers, drive-through customers, or both. There are hopper style depositories and drawer style depositories, as well as envelope drops, and some may be designed for both bags and envelopes. A chute closure mechanism or a shield may be installed to protect deposits, and some models feature a tamper alarm.

The equipment for night depository can also have special features. Some may have illumination for ease of use in the dark. Those that accept envelopes may have a stock available for clients on an envelope supply shelf. Outside access may be further restricted by a key lock, allowing only those who have been provided with a key to make deposits to increase security.


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