Reordering your checks through the bank may have become a ritual, but it’s certainly not the only easiest option available. There are different online check printing services that enable you to quickly order checks online, often with a discounted price. But then comes the question, is it safe to order checks online?
Well, as long as you are taking full precautions, it’s totally safe. It might surprise you, but it’s true that when you order checks online, you just skip a step that banks do on your behalf. To make it simpler, it’s like you are buying checks from wholesale (directly) instead of any retail. Though, you have to make sure that you are buying it from an authentic source.
5 best places to orders check online safely:
1) Checks in the Mail – Overall best platform
2) Carousel Checks – Best Value for Money
3) Costco Checks – Best Security Features
4) Walmart Checks – Best for Customization work
5) Bradford Exchange – Best for Customer Service
How to order checks online safely?
Since most of you consider banks the only platform to buy checks, you feel unsafe to buy them online. But, fortunately, it’s not. In fact, it’s even more straightforward than the bank process. Following are the verification measures to determine if your chosen online source is authentic or not.
1. MP Icon
The easiest way to determine whether a check is authentic or not is to check the MP icon on it. It stands for Micro-printing. For those who don’t know, micro-printing is an exclusive technology that is close to impossible to replicate. While those who are already aware of it must know what kind of special equipment is required to print this icon.
Fun fact: This Mp icon is there on currencies as well. Bills that are above $5 incorporate this print.
2. CPSA Certified
The CPSA stands for Check Payment System Association. The association works to preserve the authenticity of the securities. If the security bears a CPSA’s padlock icon, it means that it has an incorporated fraud protection feature. Now you must be thinking, what if somebody replicates the padlock icon? Well, luckily, there’s a list that CPSA has that bears a record of its authorized users. You can use it as a reference check to determine if your vendor’s name is included or not.
If, in any case, you don’t see your vendor’s name in that list, order your check from somewhere else. Before you return the check, look out for the vendor’s parent company name (if any) in the authorized user list. Because sometimes, they are listed under the name of their parent company.
3. Check the Security Features
MP and padlock icons are not the exclusive features to determine authenticity. There are other safety measures that legitimate vendors use for your safety. These exclusive safety features help you make an informed decision.
For example, checks in the mail, being a well-known company for buying checks, use a secure web page to communicate how they protect their valuable customers’ information.
Some standard security features include:
- Padlock icon
- MP sign line
- Copy protection – present on the backside of the security
- Chemical treated paper
4. Check for customer-service contact information
Never take customer service quality lightly. Especially when buying online, it is the foremost task to check for the details provided to you for customer service. It is a common perception that companies that have good customer service provide complete details for contact information. They don’t want to lose their valuable customers. It means checking for customer service information is another way to determine the legitimacy of the company.
Here you need to check for two things precisely:
- Phone number must be there
- Operational hours must be listed
If you find them both, it means you are dealing with a good company.
5. Secure Website
Security check features are not just limited to MP padlocks icons. You will get hints throughout your ordering journey. These small clues will help you determine how authentic the website is. Interestingly, you don’t have to be a programmer or a technician to detect these technical clues.
You might have noticed, when you surf through your favorite websites to read blogs or something, you see a padlock icon there. It represents that the website has incorporated SSL protocol (a security standard that communicates the integrity of the data).
For example, the “HTTP” at the beginning of any URL means the website has used SSL protocol.
Note: Never purchase securities from web pages that do not show a padlock sign at the bottom of the page and HTTP in the URL. If you encounter any, shift to somewhere else.
Information you need to order checks online
We won’t deny the fact that you need to put in a lot of monitoring efforts while ordering checks online. But it is worth the effort. When you see the final price (hopefully reduced ones), you will thank yourself. Below is the information mandatory to provide to buy checks online:
1. Contact Details
You need to provide only your basic contact information here.
- Phone number
2. Bank Details
Apart from basic information, you must provide your bank contact information. You can also copy the rest of the information from your existing checks.
3. Nine-digit Routing number
The routing number is a 9-digit code that indicates the location where your bank account was created. Typically, it is present on the left, at the bottom of securities. This routing number will determine which bank will be making the payment.
4. Back Account Number
Next, the company will ask you to enter your bank account number. If you don’t have your checking account number available on the spot, you can fetch it from your bank statements.
5. Check Number
They are the numbers at the bottom of the check which hold no significance. However, they are only helpful to keep a record of your checks.
Tip: Sequentially use the numbers to make the record-keeping process easier.
From the front, the process of buying checks online might feel overwhelming. However, it is the opposite of what you think. Nothing could be easier and simpler than buying checks online. Those who wonder if it is safe to order checks online can take the above-stated precautions. They will guide you on your way to the right place.