Checks no longer fit into the picture in today’s modern, fast-paced environment. They are inefficient, costly, and time-consuming, and there are many more efficient and cost-effective alternatives to using checks.
Personal checks have various applications, but for the most part, they are practically outdated unless you wish to present a check as a gift or need one for a specific purpose, such as rent prepayments.
Checks are still used as a preferred mode of payment by businesses to individuals, however, they are gradually being phased out. However, inspections are still required on occasion, and you should have some on hand simply to be safe.
What Can You Do With Checks?
If you’re under the age of 25, there’s a good chance you’ve never written a check before and don’t believe you need one. There are still certain purposes for checks, so it’s worth investing the effort to make sure you have some on hand. Checks can be used for a number of things, including:
1 Leaving a paper trail for significant transactions that prove your payment.
2 You may come across people who don’t bank electronically and have no idea what they’re missing out on.
You’ll have to either teach them or use checks to adjust to their demands.
3 Dealing with small businesses that don’t take credit cards or other forms of electronic payment.
4 Making a financial gift to a friend or family member.
What You Should Know About Checks
If you have never used a check before, it is critical that you learn how to use them before purchasing them.
A check contains numerous aspects and bits of information that you should be aware of in order to keep your checks as safe as feasible.
Let’s dissect a typical check into its component pieces and examine the specifics. A typical check is made up of the following components:
Name as well as postal address
It establishes who the check is from and is usually seen in the upper left-hand corner of the check. This information must be given when you order checks so that it may be printed on each one.
This number, which is usually found in the upper right corner, aids the user and the bank in keeping track of your payments. This number can be used to search up who you paid, how much you paid, and in what order in your records.
Line of Payment
The “pay to the order of” section in the middle of the check is where you type in the name of the person or business who will receive the cheque. Make sure the spelling is right, as any errors will be detected by the bank and the application will be refused.
Box with the Amount
The amount box is directly beside the “Pay to the Order of” line. Fill in the box with a numerical representation of the amount you’re paying.
You must additionally put the amount in words on the unlabeled line just beneath the “Pay to the Order of” line to double-check and confirm the amount.
For example, if I wrote a check for $350.35, I would enter that amount in the Amount box and then write “350 dollars and 35/100” on the unlabeled line.
Line of Signature
The signature line on the bottom right of the check is where the issuer signs the check. When you sign a check, it becomes legal tender instead of just a piece of paper. Make sure your signature is constant, as it can cause issues if it changes or differs considerably.
Line of Memo
The memo line is a small space to the left of the signature line where the issuer can add a brief description of the check’s purpose.
If you’re writing a lot of checks, especially to the same individual, it’s a good idea to use this line to avoid confusion, but it’s not required.
Routing Number of the Bank
A string of numbers appears at the bottom of the check. These numbers will contain important information for banks, such as a bank routing number, which identifies a specific financial institution when a check transaction is made.
Checks to Order
Now that we’ve gotten some critical facts out of the way, let’s look at some of the several ways you can order checks.
It’s important to remember that ordering checks take time, so don’t wait until you’ve written your final one to purchase more. There are four major ways to obtain personal checks.
1. Go to your bank’s website
Requesting checks from your bank online is arguably the simplest and quickest way to complete the task.
This method only works if you’ve already set up internet banking and have your identification verified. The reason for this is that if this is your first time, the bank will need to verify your identification.
When browsing through your bank’s web page, keep in mind that not all banks have the same structure, and the precise tabs and options you must choose from may differ, so I’ll offer you a basic outline of where to go.
1 Use your login credentials to access your online banking service.
2 Navigate to the proper tab; they will modify your bank spending.
Go to “Help & Support” > “Checking and Savings Accounts” > “Order Check” for Bank of America clients.
Go to “Account Services” > “Order Checks” for Citizens Bank customers.
Customers of JP Morgan Chase can order checkbooks or deposit slips by going to “Customer Center” > “Manage Accounts” > “Order Checkbooks or Deposit Slips.”
Go to “Customer Service” > “Order Check” for TD Bank clients.
Go to “Account Services” > “Order checks and deposit tickets” for Wells Fargo clients.
3 Before rushing through the selections and ordering as quickly as possible, make sure to update and confirm your personal information to ensure that it matches what the Bank has on file. If you’ve moved since the last time you received checks, make sure to change your bank and check addresses. Always double-check the account number to ensure you’ve selected the correct account.
2. Purchased from a vendor online
If you don’t want to order checks from your bank for whatever reason, you can shop around on a third-party website for a better cost. When compared to the bank, these websites frequently give a discount, and in some cases are half the price.
Furthermore, third-party websites are much more creative with their checks and have a much larger selection of styles to choose from when customizing your checks.
1 Verify that the third-party site you’ve chosen is safe and legitimate. It can’t hurt to make a quick google search for the company’s reviews to have a better picture of what to expect.
2 You will be required to enter your personal information, just as you would with your bank. Information like your bank’s routing number, account number, address, phone number, and a few more questions are optional.
3 Place your order and wait for it to be processed.
4 Once you’ve received your checks, double-check that they’re secure. Secured checks include a padlock icon in the top-right corner, indicating that they have been confirmed by the Check Payment Systems Association.
If you don’t enjoy ordering online or filling out forms, there are two more methods that will allow you to engage with real people. Interacting with another person, whether in person or over the phone, can be quite beneficial and provide a lot more answers to topics you might not have gotten answers to otherwise.
3. Speak With Your Bank over the Phone
Calling your bank’s customer service department will allow you to speak with a representative who will walk you through the process of buying checks.
As previously stated, the next fastest option for speaking with a live person regarding ordering checks is to call your bank. The number may generally be located on the back of your debit card or by searching for your Financial Institution’s name on the internet.
4. Personal Visits to the Bank
The most classic and straightforward method of placing an order.
The clearest and best approach to get your questions answered is to speak with someone face to face.
Most banks allow you to place an order through a teller, however with the new covid-19 virus lockdowns and restrictions, this may be the most difficult alternative.
Every day, checks become more and more obsolete. However, they are not yet obsolete, and in some sectors, they are still highly popular. To be on the safe side and be prepared for any circumstance, I recommend keeping checks on hand.
You never know when you’ll run into someone who doesn’t accept electronic payments or when you’ll run out of cash and need to use your checkbook to cover an unexpected expense.
When ordering checks, double-check your information to ensure that it is correct. Any errors will render the entire order null and void. Electronically ordering checks is the most convenient alternative, especially with the covid-19 virus keeping us all apart.
Many others, on the other hand, prefer more traditional techniques and want to chat with someone in person about it. The cheapest and most personalized choice is to order through a third-party website.
Ordering through a third party is your best bet if you want your checks to stand out and save money at the same time.