Check processing: take checks without taking chances
While having the ability to accept and process checks may seem like outdated technology, it’s still critical for many types of businesses and customers. Are you on the fence about whether or not your business should still be accepting checks in 2016? Consider how your customers pay and what your competitors offer. Don't lose business and customers because you refuse to process checks for those who prefer to pay that way.
ACH and eCheck payment processing in 2016
The way that businesses accept and process checks today is much different—not to mention more sophisticated and secure—than it was 10 or 15 years ago. ACH and eCheck payment processing options can provide real-time authorizations and fewer hassles than the old process of depositing traditional paper checks at your bank’s brick-and-mortar location.Today's check processing can help your business:
- Reduce your risk of fraud
- Decrease losses from returned check fees
- Reduce your occurrence of non-sufficient funds (NSF) notifications
Today’s check solutions allow you and your staff to capture an electronic copy of the check image for processing and deposit to your account. These technologies eliminate extra trips to the bank, reduce the likelihood that paper checks will be misplaced and deposit the funds available in your account more speedily.
eCheck processing technologies allow you to basically “authorize” the check payment in real time, as your customer is in your store—much like a credit card transaction. That way, you’ll know right away if the customer doesn't have the funds in her account so you can obtain an alternative method of payment before she ever walks out of your location.
Terms to know: check verification and check guarantee
Two important terms to know and understand when it comes to processing checks electronically are Check Verification and Check Guarantee. Here’s what they mean:
- Check Verification: Using driver’s license information, the system electronically checks the check writer against a database of check writers who have previously passed bad checks, have had a bank account closed due to chronic NFS activity or are otherwise risky from whom to accept a check.
- Check Guarantee: This process takes Check Verification one step further, guaranteeing that the check is good by promising to reimburse the merchant in the event that the check bounces. Depending on your business type, there are two main types of Check Guarantee:
- Retail face-to-face POS
- eCommerce e-Check
Accepting Checks at Your Business
While paying with cash and check continues to shrink in frequency due to the growing popularity of debit and credit cards, and other forms of payment such as mobile pay, there are plenty of ways you can make check processing safer for your business. If you’ve determined that accepting checks is important to your business type and customer base, then do your homework on the best payment processors that process checks. Before you select your check payment services provider, read the contract closely to be sure that Check Guarantee protection is included in your agreement so you don’t risk losing money if a customer passes a bad check at your business.