Younger generations may not be all that into checks anymore, but they’re still an important tool to have. Nearly all small to medium-sized businesses still rely on checks as a method of getting paid. Check writing online is a way to blend modern-day technology with a more traditional payment method. It makes the process more streamlined and appealing to younger individuals.
It’s not perfect, however. Read on and discover for yourself the pros and cons of online check writing.
Paper Vs. Electronic Checks
In order to fully understand whether using a check writer online makes sense for you or your business, you have to first understand the basics behind these online services and how they relate to your more typical, standard check.
A paper check is something you’re likely familiar with and have used many times. You simply fill out the paper check with the amount you wish to pay, who you want to send the money to, the date, and your signature. These already have all your bank account information included in them, like your account and routing number.
Writing checks online is similar. It’s basically a payment from your checking account sent electronically. These payments use the ACH system, also known as the Automated Clearing House, in order to send the money securely. After the customer accepts the payment, either by phone conversation or a confirmation online, the funds transfer to the checking account of choice.
What Are the Pros of Check Writing Online?
Writing checks online takes all the best things about checks and makes them even better. By taking advantage of check writing online, you’re keeping your information more secure, saving money, and can rest easy knowing there’s proof of every transaction.
Using an Online Check Writer Is Safer
There are a few reasons why online check writing is safer and more secure than a standard paper check. For starters, think about the last time you sent a check in the mail. Were you one hundred percent certain it would get where you intended it to? Or were you worried that it would either get lost in the mail, stolen, or destroyed?
All of these are scenarios that can and do happen with standard printed checks. With an electronic check, all of these concerns are gone. You know for sure that your money got where it needed, and you know that it wasn’t lost or used by someone else. It’s a safe and secure way to spend your hard-earned cash.
Check Writing Eliminates Fees
Certain electronic payments come with a hefty convenience fee, often paid by the customer. Sometimes these fees can be as high as five to ten dollars per transaction. If you do this even once a day, using online check writing will save you a few hundred dollars per month, if not a little more.
Of course, paper checks are sometimes cheaper, depending on the establishment. A box of checks, some envelopes, and a roll of stamps may be the more economical way to go if you only write a handful of checks each month. While there isn’t typically a special charge for online checks, keep vigilant during transactions, so you’re sure. As more businesses use the technology, it will get even less expensive and more streamlined.
A Check Writer Online Provides Payment Proof
One of the worst things about checks is not knowing when they’ve cleared your bank. You may not even know for certain that the check will go through at all. This creates unnecessary tension and anxiety that online check payments can solve.
An online check provides proof that you’ve made a payment, and all the details needed to do so are in one convenient location. The ease of documentation makes this method of payment great for purchasing business items and tax write-offs.
What Are the Cons of Using a Check Writer Online?
Using an online check writer isn’t free from negatives. Though it’s a more sophisticated option than paper checks, check writing on the internet still costs money, takes up valuable time, and puts older generations at risk for scams.
Check Writing Can Get Expensive
A total of 21 billion checks went out in the United States during the year 2012. All these checks add up in cost, particularly if they’re paper checks. If you’re a business owner, buying checks in bulk adds up quickly. This is even more true if you order customized checks with your logo or other marking on them.
Online checks can offset a lot of these costs. Though there are still printing costs if you want paper proof of monetary transactions, the fees for going digital are significantly less. In addition, the ease and convenience save a lot of “time money” that otherwise would have gone to ordering checks or finding ways to cut costs.
An Online Check Writer Takes Time
Just like writing an actual paper check, electronic checks take time to process. Though it’s a much faster process than filling out a check, placing it in an envelope, and sending it through the postal system, your money likely won’t enter or leave your account instantly.
Depending on the merchant, an electronic check will clear your bank within a few business days. Sometimes the process is much quicker. Just be sure to budget carefully to have enough money left in your account to cover the payment, should it take a while to clear.
It’s Not Safe From Scams
The bad news about all kinds of checks, electronic included, is they’re an easy target for spammers. You might think you’re not gullible enough to fall for one of these, and you’re probably right. The problem can lie within older generations who aren’t very tech-savvy and don’t know how to spot a scammer the same way a young person might. While individuals in their 20’s are currently falling victim to fake paper check scams, the older generations are falling for electronic check scams.
A Quick Overview
Now that we know checks aren’t becoming obsolete any time soon, the question becomes, what method is better? That depends on your goals.
Paper checks are outstanding because:
- They’re familiar.
- Almost every business uses them.
- There’s no learning curve.
Electronic checks are outstanding because:
- They’re quicker.
- They save money.
- They’re more modern.
- They’re safe and secure.
We hope you enjoyed this overview of online checks and their pros and cons. We’re curious: what part stood out most to you?
Are you interested in using our service? Our friendly staff is here to assist you in any way we can. We want you to get your payments sent out on time, every time. Give us a call today and set up an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!