Bank Checks

Written by Courtney Salinas
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Generally, ordering checks from your bank is regarded as the cheapest option available for buying checks. It can sometimes be the easiest way to order checks, since usually you can just fill out a form when you're at the bank and have the cost of the checks deducted from your account. Ordering checks from your bank can be deceptive, though, as it may not be the cheapest option available to you.

When you order your checks from a bank, the bank has to order from a printer. The bank and the printer both mark up the price of the checks so that they can each make a profit. Ordering directly from the manufacturer will usually give you a cheaper price. There are fewer parties marking up the price of your checks.

A New Law Regarding Checks

A Federal law, called Check 21, went into effect in October of 2004. This law lets banks process electronic images of checks instead of needing the original, physical check to process the transaction. What this means to consumers in that checks are processed faster, and money is withdrawn from your account faster. Instead of being delivered by truck or airplane, which takes days to arrive at the destination bank, electronic copies of the checks are sent to the destination banks in a matter of hours.

Check writers now need to be extra careful when check writing. Don't try to "float" checks for more money than you've got in your account at the moment. This is more likely to backfire on you with Check 21, and you'll end up with bounced checks and probably hefty fees from both your bank and the merchant.

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