What Are The Primary Differences Between Paper Checks and eChecks?

As a small business owner, one wants to maintain a competitive edge while keeping up with current advances in technology. Thus, it is imperative to provide customers with a plethora of ways to pay for their purchases. Some may find it hard to fully comprehend the differences between paper checks and eChecks.
To help clear this up, the following article will highlight the main differences between the two forms of payment. This should help business owners decide which form of payment is the best choice for their needs.

Paper Checks 

What is a paper check?

Paper checks withdraw the money directly from the customer’s checking account. The person writing the check will physically write the name of the “payee” on the “pay to the order of” spot on the paper check. As well, they will sign the check with their name as it is displayed on the checking account. Paper checks are a safer means of payment than cash, as the cancelled check is permanent proof of payment.
Many feel that this type of payment is outdated. A lot of businesses no longer accept paper checks. Electronic payments are quickly replacing this method of payment.


What is an eCheck?

An eCheck, or electronic check. Is simply the electronic equivalent of a paper check. Similar to paper checks, the money is drawn directly from the customer’s checking account. As do paper checks, eChecks have tracking numbers so customers can record their transactions in a physical or online checkbook register for proof of payment.

Pros of Sending a Digital Check

  • Most payment gateways accept eChecks as a payment form.
  • eChecks clear faster than paper checks that are sent via snail mail. Most eChecks will clear within 4 business days.
  • Gives customers an easy method of electronic payment that will not put them in debt.
  • Gives business owners the peace of mind that the verification process of the funds starts as soon as the eCheck is submitted.

Cons of eChecks

  • Similar to paper checks, an eCheck will bounce if the payment does not clear the customer’s checking account.
  • Those business owners who choose to accept eChecks need to ensure that their payment gateway of choice has a secure encryption layer. 
  • In order to be able to accept eChecks, business owners must obtain a valid certificate  of security.
  • Business owners have to wait for an acceptable amount of time before providing the services or good to the customer to ensure that their funds clear.
  • Some business owners charge a fee for eChecks, which can be a deterrent for some customers.