business checks

Business Checks Survey Report

Thursday, November 30th, 2017 | MICR Toner and Check Printing | No Comments

Advantage Laser Products conducted a survey to determine the dominant business function for checks, the prevalence of MICR-printing of checks by U.S. businesses, and the prevalence of check fraud and the use of positive pay check fraud prevention.

Check payment solutions play a critical role in the financial management of most organizations. Checks are intrinsic to the behavior of U.S. businesses and government agencies, and most organizations have structured their entire treasury management infrastructure around checks, from paying invoices to matching transactions. We believe there are three main reasons for why over 87% of our survey respondents’ organizations continue to use checks:

  1. Checks simply contain a lot more information than electronic payments, and may even have entire invoices attached to them. Checks simply contain a lot more information than electronic payments, and may even have entire invoices attached to them.
  2. Checks offer a cash flow advantage, by delaying the payment while the check is in the mail and during authentication process, often translating to days if not weeks of additional liquidity and interest income on cash.
  3. And with the use of very effective check fraud prevention solutions, such as positive pay, checks are also a safer payment solution than electronic payments, which are subject to hacking and cyber theft.

Until the security is enhanced in prevailing electronic payment methods, and an external, regulatory action forces a rapid transition to electronic transactions, many U.S. businesses will continue to use checks as the preferred payment solution.

Click here to view the full Survey Report  


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Ordering Checks from Your Bank or Accounting Software Vendor? Think Again!

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017 | MICR Toner and Check Printing | No Comments

Interview with John Miller, ADVANTAGE LASER PRODUCTS

October 24, 2017


Buying checks from your bank can be very expensive. In fact, checks purchased from your bank can be 2 to 3 times more expensive than checks purchased from a reputable third-party vendor.

In this exclusive interview, John Miller of Advantage Laser Products provides insights into why people should consider ordering checks from reputable third-party vendors rather than their banks or accounting software companies.


Q1: BANK VS. VENDOR – Why shop around for business checks? Isn’t my bank the only place that can issue business checks for my bank accounts?

JOHNNo, banks are not the only place where businesses can order checks. This is a huge misconception, and the banks know it and charge you an arm and a leg simply for the privilege of ordering through the bank. You have other options and can get the same or higher quality checks much faster, often with better service, and for a fraction of the cost. For example, Advantage delivers checks with all of the EXACT same paper quality, colors and security features, but routinely for less than half the bank price.

Our customers regularly tell us they can’t believe how much money they saved. If you have numerous bank accounts, and/or many employees or vendors that you pay by check, you can save thousands of dollars every year. You can often get business checks in one day, and you get a lot more hands-on customer support from a specialty check provider like Advantage.

 Larger companies often choose to buy blank check paper and print their own checks, including their bank account number and their address, which is even more cost effective. We walk these customers through the process of printing their own checks, answer their questions and help them get up to speed.


Q2: ARE VENDORS SECURE? – Is it safe to order checks from anyone other than my bank or my software vendor? And are there standards and requirements I need to be aware of?

JOHN: Absolutely. There are many reputable check suppliers in the market that can provide you checks that meet the industry standards. It’s just like dealing with any other business or vendor: you need to check the business’s reputation and history. It’s important that the company has a long Better Business Bureau track record of delivering reliable service and of being compliant with all industry regulations.

 Advantage is celebrating 30 years in business. We have a strong reputation: we are members of local Chambers of Commerce and we have thousands of great customer reviews. We also comply with all of our industry regulations, including MICR printing standards and Check 21 requirements, to ensure that banks will accept your checks.

You may ask if your supplier keeps sensitive information online. At Advantage, we don’t keep customer information online or in the Cloud after your order is placed. This means that you can’t place a reorder on our website, but the setup is designed to protect your financial information. Note that most other check vendors will let you reorder online, which means your checking account information is likely stored in the Cloud. In a time when hackers are aggressively seeking sensitive information, your information could be at risk. We don’t take that risk. We take our customers’ security very seriously, even if it means a less convenient reordering process.


Q3: HOW TO AVOID FRAUD – How do I protect myself from check fraud?

JOHN: The most important thing is to write checks only to people and vendors that you know and trust. This is one way to avoid someone taking your check and producing counterfeits. What I’ve learned, having been in the business so long, is that bad things can happen at check cashing places, so writing checks to people who don’t have checking accounts tends to carry more risk. Most companies want to avoid any risk associated with check fraud. 

Another way to avoid fraud is to sign up for programs like Positive Pay, offered by most banks. Programs like this are the only way to guarantee against check fraud. Basically, Positive Pay provides the bank with a way to ensure that only the amounts and check numbers you authorize are paid by the bank, so the bank can reject checks you didn’t issue. You can literally catch the check counterfeiter in the act. Advantage offers software and support service for a small fee that makes Positive Pay onboarding and support seamless with your bank.

Many check vendors, including banks, advertise premium checks with “enhanced security features,” such as checks with those little holograms on them. We offer those as well, because some customers ask for this feature, but the hologram does not protect businesses from counterfeiters. All the counterfeiter needs is your checking account information, regardless of what paper it’s printed on. Some companies like the fancy paper, and we agree the holograms are cool; but if you are adding them for safety, save your money, sign up for Positive Pay and use basic checks. We can answer any questions you have.


Q4: HOW TO ORDER – What information will I need to provide to order checks from a third-party vendor, like Advantage Laser Products?

JOHN: The process is pretty simple. Typically, all of the information that you need is already on the check that you are re-ordering. This includes your company name, bank name, city, and state. You also need to know what software you are running to generate checks. After entering all of that information on our website, you can select the color options you want and then the number of checks, and Advantage will take care of the rest.


Q5: DOES CUSTOMER SERVICE MATTER? – Does customer service matter when ordering checks or check supplies? Aren’t paper checks just a commodity these days?

JOHN: I think customer service does matter, and our customers certainly tell us it’s important. Check payments are a critical part of the financial management for most companies. There are many parts of the process that can be confusing, from deciding whether to order pre-printed checks or print your own, to limiting risk with Positive Pay. It’s important to have a knowledgeable resource to answer key questions.

I can’t help but talk about our business because we are so passionate about offering great customer service. At Advantage, we believe everyone’s time is valuable. If a customer calls Advantage and doesn’t have any of their check info, we can pull it up immediately. We have invested in customer support technology to make the process a breeze.

And, because Advantage is a small, agile company, when people place an incorrect order, we do everything we can to correct it without a charge. Try that at your bank. We also support many local non-profits, and we don’t mind being asked for donations—that’s one of the most rewarding experiences of being a small business.

We also pride ourselves on our quick turnaround. When orders come in on Monday, they will be shipped no later than Wednesday. We guarantee a 48-hour turnaround. You can also pay a little extra to expedite your order and have it ship out the same day. What is crazy is that even with the rush processing fee of $50, you will be paying less than what the bank charges for their typical two-week turnaround. We simply offer a different level of service.



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