Reading Time: 4 minutes
Raise your hand if you’re ever been late getting a payment out the door because writing and mailing a check is a hassle. If you run a business, how many hours a month would you estimate you spend processing check payments, both incoming and outgoing? What if we told you there’s a way you could skip all that hassle and spend that time on more productive things?
Echecks offer a great option for businesses and customers alike to transfer payments quickly, easily, and securely. Read on to learn more about what echecks are and how they can make your financial life a breeze.
What Are eChecks?
Electronic checks, or echecks, are more or less what it says on the tin. They operate much the same way regular checks do, but instead of a physical piece of paper and signatures, they do everything digitally. They still process through the Automated Clearing House system, and they are governed by the same laws as traditional checks.
Echecks do require some level of trust between a merchant and a customer, because it requires customers to share their bank account information. The echeck process may start with a paper check, but it doesn’t have to. The merchant runs the customer’s bank information like they would with a regular check and sends the customer a receipt to sign agreeing to pay the amount listed.
Echecks allow customers to make payments much quicker than with traditional checks, which is an advantage to both sides. On the merchant side, you save a trip to the bank and you get paid sooner. Depending on the transaction size and the time of the month, that saved time can make a huge difference to your business.
But on the customer side, paying with an echeck can save you a lot of worry. Usually, you have to wait around while the merchant finds time to take your check to the bank, and then you have to wait for that amount to clear. With an echeck, the transaction is done in seconds, so you don’t have to worry about the money just sitting out there.
If you’ve bought checks recently, you know how expensive they can be. We pay a shocking amount of money to give away more of our money. A box of checks can cost $25 or more, so you’re losing money every time you write a physical check.
But with echecks, you don’t have to pay for a physical check, and you don’t have to pay to mail it. Echecks do come with a small processing fee, but this is about the amount a stamp costs. Avoiding the physical check, the envelope, the stamp, and the time you spend waiting in line at the post office can save you as much as $1 per check.
Even aside from the time you spend in line at the post office, physical checks take up a lot of time. You have to physically prepare the check, find an envelope, get a stamp, and mail the thing. And if you’re a business writing checks, you may need to deal with printing checks, which takes another sixteen steps.
With echecks, it’s simple and fast to send out your payments. Once you have the information entered into your accounting software, you’re all but done with the transaction. One echeck customer sent out 6,000 checks in nine minutes, something that would be impossible with traditional checks.
Security is always a risk with any type of transaction, but especially checks. Bank tellers don’t often check IDs when you’re depositing a check, so almost anyone could grab a check out of a mailbox and deposit it in their account. And, in fact, according to the American Banking Association, banks lose more than $2 billion in fraud each year and stop another $17 billion.
With echecks, you remove thieves’ opportunity to steal your money. The check only passes between you and the merchant, and thanks to internet security, you can rest assured that no one else is getting their hands on those funds. Many echeck software companies also have additional measures in place to ensure no fraud is happening on either end of the transaction.
Pay from Anywhere
Have you ever been out of town when the first of the month rolled around and been panicked trying to figure out how you would pay all your bills on time? Mailing or dropping off regular checks can be a pain, and if you travel a lot, you’ll know that this can get to be a real problem.
Echecks allow you to pay from anywhere, any time. You can hop on your phone during your coffee break or while you’re waiting in the airport terminal between flights. Depending on the software you use, there may even be a mobile app available to make your on-the-go experience even better.
Skip the Sign Ups
One hesitation people may have with switching to echecks is having to set up yet another account. We have accounts for our social media, our banks, our email, our shopping pages, our entertainment services, and everything else. A lot of people may not want to add one more account and password to the pile to keep up with.
But if you’re receiving echecks, you may not have to sign up for an account at all. Many echeck companies allow recipients to retrieve their money without sharing information or signing up for an account. You just get paid, fast.
Start Using eChecks Today
Echecks are a great way to save time, money, and hassle. This payment form is secure, convenient, and simple for both the merchant and the customer. So toss your old checkbook and stop paying to use your own money.
If you’d like to get started going paperless, check out the rest of our website at Seamless Chex. We can help you send and receive payments online with no hassle. Learn more about our different service options and discover which one will be right for you.