What Is a Check Printing Service & Do I Need One?
Writing checks might seem somewhat unusual these days, perhaps even outdated. But that's not the case at all, as many small businesses prefer reliable, old paper checks to digital payments. However, writing checks by hand can be time-consuming. Plus, one error, and you have to start over.
Fortunately, checks have evolved thanks to check printing services and software. You can print your checks at home or in the office and have them ready exactly when you need them.
Although convenient, how can you be sure a check printing service is right for you? Here's everything you need to know to make an informed decision.
Check Printing Services Explained
People used to write checks all the time, but we consider that "the old days" now. Keeping many blank checks on the premises might not be practical for many companies due to storage or security issues. A check printing service can solve many of these issues.
The goal of the online check printing service is to eliminate the traditional approach to issuing checks. Check printing services typically offer a wide range of services. You can print the check physically but also send it by email or fax. More sophisticated services and software offer accounting tools such as invoicing and accepting payments.
Check printing software and services are exceedingly common in the payroll departments of businesses of all sizes, but small businesses, bookkeepers, and freelancers can see the most benefit from printing their own checks.
Is Printing Checks Legal?
In the U.S., printing checks is 100% legal. According to Uniform Consumer Court Regulations, as long as a check is created according to its definition, it's legal tender, and banks must accept it.
An essential requirement for printing checks is the MICR line, a specific number of characters at the bottom left corner of your check. These characters represent the bank routing number, check number, and bank account number. The MICR line allows computers to read this set of characters and process it quickly. The system has been in place since the 1950s and is considered the industry standard.
What Kind of Paper Do I Need to Print Checks?
Another common concern is whether you'll need a specific type of printing paper to get the most out of the check printing service. The answer is – it depends.
You can easily purchase specialized blank stock paper at any office supply store and use it for printing checks. Alternatively, many services, like ZoomChecks, support printing checks on regular office paper.
As there are no legal requirements on what type of paper you need to use, the decision is up to you and the capabilities of the service you're using.
Advantages of Using a Check Printing Service
Pre-printed checks might work for some, but there are several notable benefits to switching to a reliable check printing service. Here are a few to consider.
Keeping pre-printed checks in the drawer of your office is not particularly secure. If they're stolen, you might be looking at severe damages. In the best-case scenario, you'd have to pay your bank's check cancellation fee. It's much safer to have them protected by a password and print the checks only when you need them.
Have you ever had to wait for a new set of pre-printed checks to arrive from the bank? It's how things were done previously, but no longer. Specialized check printing services and software expedite the process from weeks to minutes.
The issue with pre-printed checks is that if you need to change existing information, the set of checks you have becomes worthless. If you want to change the bank you're using, or have a new postal address, check printing services make it easier to change the information. All you have to do is edit a few entries online, and you're good to go.
A Quicker Process
Once you have all your information in the check printing software system, physical checks are only a few clicks away. It beats having to manually write in every entry and stress about not making a mistake. If there's a typo in your check printing system, it's an easy fix.
The best check printing services allow you to streamline the taxation process. They can automatically generate the report of the spending and keep track of how the checks were spent.
If you need to use physical checks for business purposes, it's an excellent opportunity to gain more recognizability. Check printing software allows you to use your company's logo on the check and take advantage of many customization options.
Check Fraud Prevention
Check fraud is one reason why some people are a little apprehensive about using checks. The fact that pre-printed checks need to be filled out by hand facilitates this concern. Criminals engaging in check fraud use a sophisticated method to make it seem like the check is authentic.
With check printing services, the fears of check fraud are kept to a minimum. Plus, there's the added benefit of keeping track of when and where a specific check was used.
Check Printing Customization Options
When shopping around for the best check printing service or software, it's good to know which features to consider.
The option to personalize checks is a must. You should be able to choose the aesthetic of the check and its functionality, fonts, styles, and a lot more. Make sure the service provides the MICR line capability.
If you need a check printing service to manage payroll or run a bookkeeping business, integrations are crucial. It would be best if you had the option to import data from other accounting tools. It's necessary to make the workflow better and cut the time of processing.
What Is the Cost of a Check Printing Service?
Check printing services have a wide range of prices and services. You can even access completely free check printing services, but you'll likely run into inefficient and outdated software and interface.
However, some check printing software can end up costing a fortune when all the integrations, add-ons, and extras come into the calculation. Some companies choose the pricing on request and try to find the best-suited solution for a business or an individual.
Subscription models are particularly popular. You can get a fantastic check printing service for a few bucks a month with all the necessary integrations, unlimited templates, and decent technical support.
Print Your Checks and Never Look Back
If you're used to using checks for personal or business purchases and payments, an excellent check printing service can be a lifesaver. With this service, you can track spending, manage taxes, and reduce waste. Printing your checks will save you time and money and give you a personalized experience you otherwise wouldn't expect.
Contact ZoomChecks today and start your 14-day free trial.