Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Cheques / Checks
As a cheque manufacturing company we have a pretty good understanding of the cheque business both in Canada and the US. We will do our best to answer many of the questions that are asked by customers when trying to make an educated decision before purchasing cheques.
Is it safe to order bank checks online? Yes it is safe to order bank checks online. Most financial institutions have online ordering available. It would make sense to confirm before placing your order that the check printing company you are thinking of ordering from is a Member of the CPA in Canada or the CPSA in the US.
Can I order checks online? You sure can order checks online, similar to the above question just make sure the company is listed on the CPA or CPSA websites first which will ensure the checks you buy are guaranteed to clear the banking system.
Can I buy checks from anywhere? When I hear this question and ask for clarification typically a customer is trying to find out if they need to buy checks from their bank. And the answer to that is NO. You are free to buy checks from almost any check printer you can find.
What is the best place to order checks online? We’ll obviously we are a little biased with this answer. Many check companies are in fact resellers and not manufacturers, it might make sense to confirm if you are about to buy from a reseller or a manufacturer. The main benefit of buying from a manufacturer like us is that we can print and ship same day to most of the country so if you ever find yourself in a mad panic for cheques we will be able to help you, whereas a reseller will have very limited control over order production and turn around speeds and might not be able to make your urgent delivery timeframe.
Does it cost money to order checks? The answer to this is Yes but its a two fold answer. Some bank clients might be already paying monthly Fees for their bank account type and the fees might include Free checks. But typically this Free Check account will only give you Free personal cheques or free handwritten manual business cheques. I have never come across a customers who gets Free computer cheques. But even if you get free cheques based on your type of bank account you will be paying a higher monthly fee for the account so in the end you will be paying for the cheques regardless.
What banks offer free checks? Same as above banks aren’t in the business of giving checks away for Free. They are tied to your bank account Fee. In Canada TD Bank will give you a small booklet of 10 manual cheques when you set up a new bank account with them. But after those 10 cheques you are on your own to order more.
Can you get checks at the bank? Typically no you cannot get checks at the bank as most banks do not offer check printing at a local branch level. In Canada some of the smaller local credit unions do have cheque stock and MICR printers and they can print you cheques right then and there but that’s not common.
How do you order more checks? There are a few ways to order more checks. You can order from you bank which will typically cost you more. Or you can order from another supplier such as us. Check orders can be placed via phone at 1-866-760-2661 by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or even online at www.chequesnow.ca
Can I print my own checks on regular paper? Technically you can print your own checks on regular paper but it’s certainly not advised as most banks would not honour them as they wouldn’t be printed following the proper regulations outlined for Canada and US check clearing. Also checks need to be printed using MICR ink which is what the check readers pick up when they are scanned in at a bank and processed through the bank clearing houses.
How long does it take to get checks from the bank? Most orders from a bank will arrive in around 10 business days. In Canada most banks have Davis & Henderson manufacturer all the cheque orders which are first routed through an offshore call centre and then the orders are produced in their Ontario printing facility. They do have Rush options but no next day option is available. If you are in a panic for cheques give us a call and we can get you cheques delivered as early as next business day to most of Canada.
Can I order checks from Walmart? If you live in the US you can order checks from Walmart. But if you live in Canada you cannot as Walmart Canada does not offer checks at this point in time.
How can I order cheap checks? You can order cheap checks right here on our website. We will gladly match our competitors pricing on checks be it personal or business checks.
Why do checks cost so much? The cost of checks can seem expensive especially on smaller quantities as with most products there is savings in ordering in bulk. For example a small order of 50+30 Free personal cheques will cost you an average of $0.75 each but an order of 200+120 Free will only cost you $0.30 each cheque. So it often will cost you much less per check to order a slightly larger volume. As when factoring the cost of a cheque they are printed on special check stock that contains security features such as water marks, toner adhesion etc which are all there to help reduce cheque costs.
Should I get single or duplicate checks? In the past Duplicate checks were needed so individuals could have a hard paper copy of the cheque details they wrote. However due to advancements in technology and the rise in online banking duplicate checks are becoming less and less useful. As with online banking you have the ability to login and view cheque images upto 18th months old and most banks now include scans of the cheques along with your monthly bank statements.
Are Security checks worth it? I suppose it depends on if you have ever experienced check fraud on your bank account in the past. While security check features are by no means mandatory they do offer many ways to help greatly reduce check fraud from happening to you. If you think spending a new pennies extra per check is a big deal to you then go for the cheaper less secure checks, if your not worried about the added cost then why not reduce your risks.
Can you use personal checks for business account? yes you can use personal checks for business accounts. However there are a few restrictions that personal checks have that your accountant might not be aware of. First is that unlike business style cheques personal checks can only have a start # of upto 3 digits.. so once you hit check # 999 you need to start back at 001 again. Also most personal checks only come with one signature line so if your company needs two authorized signatures then personal checks might not be for you.
Is it illegal to print checks from home? It is Not illegal to print checks at home, but it is riskier to do so and often will cost you more then if you had just ordered checks with your details already printed on them in the first place. The reason for this is that you would need to first purchase a software program that allows you to print your own banking details such as the MICR line across the bottom, Second you would most likely need a new Printer and also need to buy MICR ink for that printer. But MICR ink is only available in Toner form and not ink cartridges. Once you have this all set up you would then need to print off 10 test checks and send them to your bank for verification purposes to ensure that the MICR encoding is correct along the bottom of the cheques and that you are using CPA or CPSA approved blank check stock. This process can take a few weeks. So after all is said and done unless you are running a large business with multiple bank accounts there isn’t any costs savings for printing checks from home.
What kind of printer do I need to print checks? The kind of printer you need to print checks depends on the type of checks you are printing. For the most part any printer that will print black ink and can print an 8.5 x 11″ check through it will work. So whatever you have now will mostly likely be good enough so no need to go spend money for a shiny new printer for no reason. If you however want to print Blank cheques at home then that’s a whole different story and you would most certainly need a new printer that will take the MICR Ink Toner required for check printing at home.
Is magnetic ink still required on checks? Yes, Magnetic ink or MICR ink is still required on all checks printed in Canada and the US. While there has been a rise in Mobile Deposit apps that just take an image of a cheque making the MICR ink not needed any physical check that still is clearing through the banking system does require MICR Ink as the banks and clearing houses use special MICR INK level readers that confirms the bank account numbers and start numbers printed on the checks.
Are checks secure? Checks themselves are secure especially if you are using High Security Checks such as ours that come with Holograms and Heat Sensitive Inks. Features such as these allow financial institutions to confirm that the check they are clearing is valid. Lower security checks are much easier to counterfeit and replicate by individuals trying to use checks for various scams, which is why you shouldn’t accept checks from people you don’t know.
Why are business checks bigger? Business checks are bigger as they larger size allows for more than 3 start numbers to be printed on the cheques allowing businesses to have start numbers ranging up into the millions. Also for printing a business check on your printer it makes sense to have the checks be 8.5″ wide as that is a common paper width in North America.
Can I buy checks from Costco? In Canada Costco has an agreement with a check manufacturer who offers discounted check prices to Costco members. However we gladly beat the pricing available to Costco members with No membership required. If you are considering order checks from Costco just give us a call and we will save you money regardless.
What is a high security check? A high security check is a check that includes security features that will help prevent alterations to the data printed on the check, and they also serve as a means to verify the authenticity of the check itself. A check with a Hologram or Heat Sensitive Ink cannot be duplicated on a color copier as the copier cannot replicate the Hologram or heat sensitive ink which certainly can help individuals and businesses reduce check fraud.
What is the best place to order checks online? Where is the best place to order checks online is a good question, we personally feel that we are the best place to order checks online as we offer the full range of cheques from personal to business and we will gladly beat any competitors pricing you can find. So why waste time scouring the internet when we have what you need at a price we both can agree on!
Should I order checks from my bank? You probably shouldn’t order checks from your bank, with all the competition these days for check printing why pay more for something. In addition to reduced costs you can also get most security features by not using the bank. In Canada for example Davis and Henderson for years used the Hologram Gold Foil security feature on every check. They stopped using this feature a few years ago but when reducing the security they didn’t lower prices. So this was just another way to increase the profitability on the cheque products while adding increased check fraud risks onto their clients.