It's Time to Trust Checks Again


Many people still prefer to make purchases with personal checks, especially when they buy expensive goods. This method also comes in handy when customers reach their credit limits or technical problems cause electronic payments to fail. Although Americans increasingly use payment cards for small transactions, businesses can greatly boost their revenue by accepting paper checks. Unfortunately fraud remains a major problem. The latest data[1] shows that checks trigger about 45 percent of the losses that businesses incur due to fraudulent payments.

The Risks

Check fraud takes many forms. Criminals may steal and use personal checks, intentionally make purchases when they lack sufficient funds or pay with checks that link to nonexistent accounts. Merchants also incur bank fines if honest people inadvertently buy goods when they don't have enough money in their accounts. Fortunately, there are effective solutions that simplify check processing. An effective solution can instantly determine if it's safe for your company to accept a payment by delivering valuable information about specific customers and their bank accounts.

The Fix

Verification solutions prevent losses by supplying up-to-date information on the status of personal and business bank accounts. For example, it will tell you if an account has been terminated or suspended. It also warns merchants about potential customers who frequently have returned checks for NSF.   An authentication solution verifies the authenticity of a person's contact information and Social Security or license number. In most situations, these systems can even confirm that a buyer has enough funds to pay for an item.

Customers Win Too

Check verification doesn't only benefit business owners, it helps customers enjoy a quick, hassle-free checkout experience. When the verification process can be performed in real time, there's no need to call the bank if you have concerns about a payment. This prevents embarrassment and ensures that staff members can serve customers quickly. When a business doesn't accept checks, it can lead to problems when people eat meals or fill shopping carts before learning about this policy. The right solution eliminates the need to make exceptions or turn away customers who can't use other payment methods.

How to Choose A Solution

Check verification solutions abound, so it’s important to know what differentiates them. First, accuracy  - does the provider have the best coverage and fresh data?  Second, speed - you don’t want to slow things down at the point-of-purchase. Finally, consider how easy the solution is to use and integrate with your internal systems.  The right provider should be able to help you design and implement the right solution for your business with a minimum of disruption and headache.

What if accepting checks could be as easy as accepting credit or debit cards?  GIACT can make that happen and your customers will love you for it. Let us help you design the right solution and offer a free evaluation. There's no reason not to give it a try. To learn more, please contact us online or call 866-918-2409.

[1] Payments Control and Fraud Survey

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