In the years after World War II, checks became ubiquitous. People used checks to pay for anything from their groceries to their vendors. A lot has changed since the 1950s – people use smartphones to access information anywhere, cars can now run on electric power, and we are experimenting with technologies like 3D printing. One thing has remained the same, however, and that is the usage of checks to pay for business expenses.
Until recently, businesses haven’t had many alternatives to checks. Now, however, there are new technologies that enable companies to make payments in an automated, more secure, and faster way. It’s time to stop using checks, and here’s why.
- Checks Are the Most Likely Payment Type to Be Targeted for Fraud
According to the 2017 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey, checks are and have historically been, the payment method most often targeted by fraudsters. In fact, 75% of the organizations that were victims of fraud attempts or attacks in 2016 experienced check fraud. That is a lot of check fraud, considering that 74% of organizations total were victims of payments fraud in 2016. It is clear from the numbers that fraudsters have figured out how to use checks to scam businesses out of their money. They alter checks, create duplicates of legitimate checks, steal checkbooks and commit forgery, or steal identities so that they can cash legitimate checks into the wrong bank account. Don’t be a statistic – stop using checks to avoid fraud.
- Checks Require Hours of Administration and Manual Data Entry
Checks are from a by-gone era of manual data entry. In many other areas of business, manual entry has been reduced or eliminated entirely, and it’s time to do the same for checks. With checks, bookkeepers, business owners, and executives must all spend several hours or even days per month entering payment information onto checks, signing checks, and mailing checks to the recipient. Once the payment is made, bookkeepers must spend even more time manually entering payment data into the accounting software. Does this process sound inefficient? There is a better way – new online payment providers, such as Plooto, remove all of the manual data entry from the payment process, saving businesses time and money.
- They Require an Administrator to Be Physically Present
One of the benefits of running a business in today’s digital world is that business owners can do much of it remotely. Business owners no longer need to be physically present to have insight into sales performance, operating costs, and product development… but they do need to be present to write or sign checks. Many business owners assume that their physical presence is the cost of having oversight over payments and cash flow, but this is no longer true. New online payment platforms give business owners the ability to monitor and approve all payments remotely, which allows them to work from anywhere while still retaining full control over all of their business payments.
- Checks Cost More Than You Think
Many businesses have the perception that checks are free, or that they cost almost nothing. This, however, is a misconception. In fact, the average cost of a check ranges anywhere from $4-$20 once you include the cost of the check itself, postage, and other fees. For businesses that pay several vendors a month with checks, this is a significant cost. It’s time to wake up to the real fees you are paying with checks and find other payment solutions that will save you money.
Chances are, you aren’t using very many other 70-year-old technologies in your business, so why are you still using checks? Save yourself the headaches of fraud, high costs, and needless administration, and stop using checks today.
The SmallBizRising Blog is designed to be an educational content hub pulling information, best practices and practical advice for the small business owner and features topics including accounting, marketing, technology and more. Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with new content as it is posted. The blog was created by The Neat Company and receives contributed content from a group of contributing companies that provide technology, services and solutions to small businesses.