Invisible Checks

Around a year ago I was looking for a security camera and thought I'd do a search on the Web. So I did, and I found pretty much what I was looking for. I ended up calling the company and after making a selection I got out my credit card. At that point the man shocked me when he told me he didn't accept credit cards. Then he instructed me to fax a check to him and he'd use that.

Fax a check? I thought the guy was nuts. What was he going to do deposit the fax? Well to make a long story short I ended up buying the security camera locally because I thought the guy was loco.

A couple of weeks ago I received one of those annoying spam E-mails. I can't remember the subject, but it was something like increase your business 100% without accepting credit cards.

It got my attention, because anything that can increase my business is interesting to me. After thinking about it and procrastinating for a week or so I finally downloaded the trial program that would enable me to accept checks by fax, phone, E-mail, or any other way people can communicate. I thought the system was pretty slick because what it enables you to do is take the key information from the check, then input it into this program, then print a check with the signature stating ‘No Signature Required'.

I asked my banker about it, and yes it is legal. As long as a merchant has authorization to do so he can print a check for a customer in this manner.

As it turns out the guy wasn't loco after all. But maybe you think I am! Fax or phone in your check to me? Well read on, and maybe you'll think I'm just a little sane afterwards.

Anything that I can do to make it easier for a customer and myself at the same time is very interesting to me.

So this past weekend I decided to do some programing of our in-house computers so that we would be set up to take checks over the phone, etc. It is now set up and ready to go. I hope very soon to be able to get a form on the computer that you will be able to give the information on line. I'm not real educated on forms and databases on-line, so I am waiting for some information from the guy who sold me the program in the first place. I hope that will come through soon.

So here is our new policy on checks via phone, etc. Established customers can give us the information over the phone or E-mail it. Non-established customers would be required to fax the check to us. The information that we take from the check is: Your name and address as it appears on the check, your bank and address as it appears, check number, aba number, transit number, and your checking account number.

We will take that information and print a check. That check will be deposited to our account, and will come with your bank statement if you normally receive your canceled checks.

As I said we will try our best to have a way of doing this on-line as soon as possible, but don't hold your breath. Those programing guys don't seem to be as reliable as I'd like. They're driving me loco!!

As a matter of fact I'd love to find someone that I can consult with about this and other problems that come up from time to time. If you know of someone, or would have an interest, please get in touch with me.

Now the time that I dread. It is try to clean up the back room day. What a mess!!!

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Revised 9/8/98