Tag Archives: cheques

Cheque printing. Why cheques could get a new lease of life

cheque scanningWhen I first wrote about cheques and cheque printing and why I felt they were still important for business there was understandably much antipathy.

Many businesses and organisations rely on bacs and chaps payments so why the need for cheques?

Haven’t they become extinct?

Not yet.

They are getting a new lease of life only a year or so after the banks tried to relinquish them.

Big high street names are working on a solution to make cheques easier to process by being able to scan them and send the details electronically.

By developing smartphone apps, local shops, schools and individuals will be able to cash in cheque payments.

The proposed scheme could significantly reduce fraud and costs incurred by the banks.

Moreover the lifespan of the cheque which is due for review in 2018 could be scrapped giving the cheque a longer lease of life.

Electronic cheque processing or cheque imaging is a new development for the UK but not so in the USA, France, India, China and Asia.

The industry body Cheque and Credit Clearing Company are keen to look at different ways of improving cheque clearing that will sustain cheques long passed 2018 and for as long as they are required.

This is good news for many customers as it would decrease the time taken to process cheques and enable the consumer to use cheques for as long as they want to. cheques

Using the current system, when cheques are processed, details are checked by hand but an electronic system would allow the payee to pay the cheque in at the bank branch where it would be auto-scanned and the image then sent to the bank which issued it.

The details and signature would be verified by a computer system.

But the future is imaging technology apps developed by banks for use on smartphones giving the consumer or SME’s the option of scanning the cheque details using mobile phones or tablet device.

In theory you would scan the cheque, transfer the image to your bank and have it paid in to your account sitting at your desk or at home.

The original paper cheque would be kept as a record in case there are any payment issues or the payment didn’t show in the bank account.

The imaging process would not only make the process secure but speed up the cheque clearing process to 48 hours.

Under the present cheque clearing system it takes two days for someone cashing in a cheque to start earning interest, four days before they can withdraw the funds and six days before the money is guaranteed as theirs.

cheque printing

Banks don’t like cheques because they are expensive and time consuming to process. They are also a very easy target for fraudsters.

Plans to do away with cheques by 2018 by the payments council had to be scrapped due to a consumer and business outcry. The council said that an alternative paper based payment would be provided.

In 2010 banks planned to dispense with the issuing of cheque guarantee cards which protected payments up to the value of £250.00.

Many petrol stations and major high street retailers stopped accepting cheques in this year and in 2011 the payments council decided that the plans to scrap cheques would be scrapped until such times as a viable alternative could be offered.

Introducing an electronic system of processing cheques would be a major advantage for businesses but it would require changes in legislation because the Bills of exchange Act and the Cheques Act give banks the legal right to decide whether or not to honour a physical cheque.

Electronic processing would also include postal orders, bankers drafts and dividend cheques.

Cheques would be written in much the same way but the receiver would be able to scan the cheque create an image and electronically forward the details to the bank speeding up the entire cheque process reducing the banks and consumers time and enabling cheques to continue to play an important and worthy role for businesses, associations and consumers.

[Adapted from an original article first seen in the Daily Mail - August 2013]

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Cheque printing. Why cheques are still good for business?

Last year 1.1 billion cheques were issued, 620 million were personal cheques and 493 million were made out by businesses.

Back in June I wrote about the cessation of the cheque guarantee scheme and the U-turn the Payments Council had taken in relation to cheques. It was genuinely feared that cheques and cheque printing would be phased out by 2018 and be replaced with?

With what?

Last week I was delighted to hear and read that the Payments Council is now reviewing the re-introduction of the cheque guarantee scheme this is where cheques to the value of £50.00 and £100.00 are honoured by the Bank.

Although chip and pin is very much part and parcel of our everyday lives we still have the problem of writing personal cheques for things like school trips, book clubs, subscriptions or pay the domestic plumber.

Cheque printing is still an integral part of many businesses?

Many companies will pay their suppliers via BACs but there are local government departments and educational institutions who by outsourcing cheques and payments will generate manual cheques and they are an important component in their payment stream.

But what if making payments by cheque and electronic means is becoming… well a bit of pain..

Using an electronic & Cheque payment solution/Payments Bureau will save you time and money. A service that prints and personalises cheques including the signatory all in one pass to APACS and C&CCC (Cheque & Credit Clearing Company)

Printing and personalising cheques can be a costly exercise and also a security issue!

Using an end to end service affords flexible credit and cheque outsourcing and fulfilment that satisfies the following:-

  • outsourced cheque printing & mailing
  • outsourced credit printing & mailing
  • no minimum or maximum data quantity
  • no specific file format required
Using a Payment Bureau service gives flexibility to outsource regular and one off payments and can be used for:
  • Bacs
  • Faster Payments
  • Cheques
  • Direct Debit
  • Remittances
The automation of payments and collections can be administered without costly software.
A payments bureau is ideal for combining cheque and electronic transactions from one secure payments file and in the event of your system failing ensures that all your important payments and collections are made on time.
Cheques and cheque printing along with Bacs payments can work effectively.
So before we say good bye to the cheque book forever spare a thought for the importance it still retains in our everyday lives.
For all your cheque and payment processing drop Digital Print Management a request to call and we can discuss the best and most cost effective solution for processing your payment!

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Cheque outsourcing. How to do it and what to look out for.

Cheque printing and BAC’s payments are being used in vast quantities daily for payments to suppliers and customers alike.

The difficulty with combining both methods can be costly and labour intensive particularly when you are hand matching cheques and separate remittances factor in cheque distribution for various signatories and the task suddenly becomes cumbersome. A customer recently expressed his frustration at what seemed like an endless stream of cheques to sign; in reality that wasn’t the case, it just felt like it to him!

By using an end to end service for cheque printing and sign-writing the process becomes a completely automated, flexible outsourced fulfilment service for cheques and credit printing all prepared to C & CCC standards.

I am going to make the case here for why organisations should seriously consider outsourcing this process.

So here’s a list of tips to consider before cheque outsourcing!

1/ What do you hope to achieve by outsourcing your cheques? Is it cost reduction, time saving, automation of the process or a combination of all three?

2/ How many payments do you make monthly/weekly and is this inconvenient or difficult to manage?

Outsourcing enables a company to combine cheque and electronic payment transactions from one secure payments file, a bureau can take care of data separation and exceptions reporting too.

3/ Are you wanting to continue with a mix of cheque and BACS payments?

Using a payments bureau gives you the flexibility to outsource regular and one off payments and can be used for BACS, Cheques, DD Payments. You can automate payments without having to purchase or administer software.

Cheques

Cheques are still needed to make payments to people and businesses.

4/ Does your system allow you to create cheque remittances? Or is it something you’ve never made the time do? By amalgamating a cheque with a remittance portion simplifies the printing and sending of cheques, no separate cheque and remittance run.

5/ Outsourcing cheques is not like asking your local printer down the road to print your stationery requirements; you need to ensure that the printer has APACS accreditation and C & CCC (Cheque & Credit Clearing Company) along with ISO27001 the information management accreditation which demonstrates a company’s process regarding the handling of your information and data.

This is critical in any outsourcing process but even more so for cheques and payments. A due diligence visit to the security printer is a must to authenticate process and procedures are in place for the handling of cheque data.

6/ Professional – Do your cheques currently convey your brand or they are simply bank standard issue?

By outsourcing your company cheques they can be personalised with your company image and design.

7/ Administration – How much time is it really taking to print and process cheques in-house?

Outsourcing cheques and payments will be done quickly, accurately and can be tailored to be processed daily, weekly or monthly.

8/ Security – what happens when cheques are distributed around the business for signing they can easily be mislaid or misappropriated and non infilled cheques pose a security risk.

Outsourcing gives you secure cheque design with additional security features UV, aqua-fugitive and holograms plus an audit trail for all cheques printed and not where’s that cheque I sent up to the 4th floor for signing gone?

9/ Do you have multiple sites?

If your organisation needs to manage stocks across a branch network or across many sites using a customer automated stocking or replenishment system will automatically manage and replenish stocks at each branch.

10/ And finally, do you need cheques for overseas banking?

Cheques can be printed in any format in any denomination – sterling £; euro € , dollars $ or even multi-currency options as A4 cut sheets, cheque books, continuous binder cheques or pressure seal mailers personalised using MICR printers, sign, fold, insert and post out.

Digital Print Management can offer independent expert advice on what kind of printed cheque a company should use and can advise you on the latest cheque formats and security cheque printing solutions.

CALL US TODAY! for more information.

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Why Cheques Matter to British Industry!

The Payments Council on the 12 July announced that cheques will continue for as long as the british customer need them and until such times a viable and a more effective alternative is found.

During their research, the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company found that over half of consumers with bank accounts were using cheques as a method of payment; although 60% of the consumers asked said they were writing fewer cheques compared to three years ago. The main reason for the consumer to write a cheque was to pay a bill by post this represented 36%; while paying tradesman in the home 24%; paying clubs/societies 14%; donations to charity 14%; as a gift 38% and finally as a refund 25%

The C & CCC reported that in business over 80% of companies at some point over the last year wrote and received a cheque.

32% of UK businesses sited that the reason cheques were written was to enable them to better manage their cash flow; compliance with the payee’s request to be paid by cheque represented some 25%; and finally, the ability to control which employees are allowed to make payments on behalf of the company was 23%.

But despite the good news for the continuance of the cheque scheme, figures show that there is a steady decline in cheque usage 11% for the 2010 compared to 13% in 2009. This has largely been attributed to retailers and petrol chains stopping the acceptance of cheques and moving to chip and pin from 2005 – 08.

If you compare the rise and fall of cheques; a total of 1.1 billion cheque payments were made in 2010 of which 620 million were written by consumers and 493 million by businesses. Cheque volumes were down by 72% from the peak of 4 billion transactions in 1990!

Although the general trend is downward for cheques it is still good news for the accredited cheque print suppliers in the UK and also for british industry and consumers generally.

Digital Print Management can provide cheques in any format – books, A4, cheque remittances. Our service also extends to providing a full outsource cheque printing and mailing solution and a fully automated payments bureau for regular payments.

Call us or drop us and email if you need guidance on getting your company cheques printed!

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