FAQs on Check Services
I accept debit cards. Why do I need to accept checks?
Checks have been a favored payment method for many years. New technologies in check processing not only streamline check handling by reducing paperwork and trips to the bank, but can be very affordable for a store or business to put in place. Offering customers a range of payment methods can facilitate sales and improve customer service. For example, services such as Multiple Check allow customers to extend their check payments over time, a flexibility not available with debit cards.
Do I need special equipment to use a check service?
In most cases a merchant can approve checks on their current equipment without purchasing any additional equipment. With a check service in place, merchants and business owners can approve checks on their existing P.O.S. terminal (with or without a check reader), over the phone (using our toll-free 800 number) or over the Internet at the CrossCheck web site merchant support pages. For electronic check processing, an imager is needed and can be connected to an existing PC for "desktop" deposit without a trip to the bank.
What is the difference between check guarantee and check verification?
Both check guarantee and check verification services help a business accept checks from their customers with less risk. When you use either service, check information is verified against the payment provider's database which may look for a history of good or bad check writing or a combination of both. Depending on the provider, a variety of information and sometimes outside sources may be utilized.
With a verification service, a recommendation to accept the check, or not, is made to the merchant. Occasionally checks may be returned from the bank unpaid and it is up to the merchant to take action to retrieve their funds.
A guarantee service provides an additional level of protection. The payment provider agrees to reimburse the merchant for returned checks that were authorized under the warranty guidelines, up to a pre-set limit. Returned checks are sent to the provider as a claim for processing and reimbursement, usually within thirty days. A guarantee service is beneficial for businesses that do not have the means to collect on bad checks, or cannot afford to wait more than a short period of time for reimbursement. Guarantee services may also include options to guarantee stop payment checks or multiple checks. With an electronic check processing service that includes guarantee, claims and claims waiting times are often eliminated.
Both guarantee and verification services vary greatly from provider to provider. Please see the service agreement for warranty guidelines and details.
What is electronic check processing?
Electronic check processing, also known as check conversion, is a process in which a paper check is used to make a one-time electronic payment from a checking account. Check information including the amount, check number, account number and routing number is sent to a check service provider and is converted into an electronic payment which is then deposited into the merchant's account. Electronic processing eliminates the need to physically take the check to the bank. Depending on the program, the original check is handed back to the check writer or stamped void and retained.
Do I need to notify customers that their checks will be electronically processed?
Customers paying by a check at a store or other place of business that electronically processes check payments must be given advanced notice. They may be notified by a sign at the register informing them that their check will be electronically processed. The notice should also be included on the sales receipt. For checks that are mailed in for payment to a business, medical office or utility, the notice should appear in writing on the statement or be included with the invoice. These notices are required by the federal laws that apply to electronic fund transfers, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, the Federal Reserve Board's Regulation E.
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