September 18, 2009
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April 12, 2008
Though it has evolved much over the years, the banking system’s personal bank checks have always been a part of the system. Bank checks have been used as promissory notes here in the present and even as far back as the ancient Roman Empire and the practice of ordering the checks still goes on today.
First Known Bank Checks
The Ancient Romans used the earliest form of bank checks although it was much simpler than the method used today. There is recorded evidence that they used what were called praescriptiones as early as 100B.C. After about four hundred years, bankers in the Persian Empire started using a similar system of credit.
In The Medieval Period
During the middle ages, Europeans also made use of their own bank check system. To prevent theft, the Knights Templar was developed. This banking system would keep a person’s money for them while that person traveled cross-country. The person was responsible for holding a proof of claim draft, which would allow them to retrieve their money. This proof of claim draft was the earliest known form of a paper check, similar to that of today. It is believed that this was inspired from the Muslims that had utilized this method a few hundred years before.
Bill of Exchange System
The roots of the current check system come from what was known as a “bill of exchange” by early bankers. Using this system, early banks would allow people to pay necessary bills using bank mandated orders. This made commerce much easier, as people could participate in trade without the need for a large exchange of gold or currency. Overall, this was a necessary development, as carrying around large amounts of coin was both difficult and dangerous for traveling merchants.
Bank checks in the United States
In the United States, European individuals brought bank checks to existence during the Colonial time. In the early 1700’s, the system was so extremely popular in Europe that the colonists also adopted it. Bank security procedures have become far more complicated over the past decades. The changes made to bank checks are there to protect you, the consumer.
March 11, 2008
For anyone that has little experience in check writing, it is strongly recommended that you read on. Although, safely writing a check may not be the hardest thing you’ll ever do, it is one of the most important.
Use Ink Only
Always use a pen to write a check to prevent any kind of tampering with the check. Never use a pencil when you are check writing because someone whod prefer to fill in the blanks with the amount they’d like to receive could easily erase your pencil marks. To avoid dishing out blank checks to people, be sure to use some kind of ink. Although a pen is acceptable according to most people, it is wise to use a permanent marker if possible. This is significant due to those occurrences in which people have committed “check washing”, which is a process in which criminals use chemicals to remove checks’ ink. A permanent marker prevents this possibility.
Dating and Identifying Tips
Upon first glance at the check, it might seem complicated to the inexperienced. If you know all of the information, however, the blanks are very easy to fill out. To start with, enter the current date on the check. It is illegal to post-date a check so always recheck the date that you put on the check. Once this has been completed, be certain to write the name of the person who shall be the recipient of the check on the “pay to the order of” line of the check. Make sure that you’ve accurately written the business name or the person’s first and last name.
Filling in the Amount
The foremost piece of information on the check is the amount of money you want the Bank to pay. This information will need to be inputted twice. The first place to put the information is in the dollar amount line. You’ll find this just under the line that says “PAY TO THE ORDER OF.” Include the full amount and any cents that are involved in the transaction. You need to complete this portion of the check thoroughly to avoid another from changing your numbers. Look at the right side of the check. Put the numbers you see there in the amount box.
Sign the Check Properly
Signing the check may be the last but not the least part of check writing. Be absolutely certain to sign the check with your own unique, standard signature, very stylistically similar to the one printed on your driver’s license. You could face the hassle of questions and accusations about fraud if you don’t sign the check with your standard signature. Deviations can cause the bank to red flag your check. Given how much check fraud and forgery is going on these days, banks are vigilant against suspicious-looking signatures that do not match up against your normal signature. The info section is somehow optional. Many people elect to make a quick note of what the check was for, just to keep their own bookkeeping records straight. Speaking broadly, you will be better off providing as much information as possible.
In general, it isn’t difficult to write a check. However, check writing isn’t something that should be taken lightly. Be certain to take a great deal of care in filling out each section of the check as carefully and completely as possible, so as to minimize the possibility that your check will be manipulated. This will prevent future headaches from occurring.
To save money on your next personal checks purchase, look for designer checks coupons that can be used for a discount when ordering online.
February 16, 2008
If you dread going to the bank and standing in line to deposit a simple check, you’ll be happy to hear about the latest innovation in the financial industry. Digital deposits, or remote deposit capture is a method for consumers and small businesses to deposit checks remotely, from a home or office for example, using an image scanner. Simply upload a check image to your bank’s website, and presto, the funds are in your account.
What Makes Digital Deposits Possible?
In 2004 US legislation known as “Check 21” made it unnecessary for banks to handle the physical checks in order to clear the financial transaction. These transactions could now be completed based on images of checks. The bill was passed in order to make the banking system, specifically around check clearing, much more efficient as the need to physically transport the checks between banks would be eliminated.
Companies like CheckFree quickly recognized the opportunity to extend this new legislation to the benefit of the consumer so they began developing solutions that would enable banks to offer remote check image scanning on a wide scale.
Image Check Deposits Step by Step
From the user’s point of view, it is actually a very simple process that requires only a standard computer, an Internet connection and a scanner which is built-in on most modern Inkjet printers.
You receive a check that you want to deposit.
You simply scan the front and back of the check on your home scanner.
Log in to your bank’s secure online banking website.
Visit the remote deposit page of their site.
Enter the basic information about your check: routing number, amount and date.
Upload the images of the front and back of your check with a few clicks.
Verify the deposit once the images are shown back to you.
Your bank then completes the process electronically or in cases where the check is not compatible with electronic clearing systems, the check is reprinted onto paper and cleared the old fashioned way.
It’s really that simple. For trusted clients, some banks will instantly credit the funds to their account. For others there may be a small delay, but certainly no longer than an “in person” check deposit.
The Pros of Image Check Deposits
Safety – you eliminate risk of losing or having the check stolen in transport to the bank.
Speed – banks should be able to process check transactions quicker when they come to the bank in electronic format.
Time – this deposit can be done in a couple minutes without having to get into your car and drive to a bank and stand in a long line.
Freedom – you are no longer tied to your bank. If you move to a new city, you could keep your bank even if it is hundreds of miles away.
What are the Potential Pitfalls?
Security – just like any other bank transactions, this will attract attention from potential fraudsters, which will probably deter some people from using check images.
Digital image check deposit or remote deposit capture represents a major innovation in the banking industry and passes along a huge set of benefits to the consumer. Currently only about 20% of banks are offering this service, but recent surveys suggest that almost 90% of business clients (and probably almost as many personal clients) said they would use it when it comes available. If you deposit checks on a regular basis it is worth inquiring if your bank is offering this innovative check cashing feature, and if not letting them know that you would appreciate it being available.
February 7, 2008
Financial transactions have been tracked on paper documents like checks and various types of notes for hundreds of years. Our obsession with money makes it easy to miss the historical, archaeological and artistic value that checks can provide. This article will present a brief look at the world of artistic checks as more than just a simple bank balance transfer record.
Artistic Checks Throughout History
The history of money has always been meshed with art and artists. Even centuries ago artists were commissioned to decorate money and other currencies like checks, notes and coins.
For example, the check used by the United States to purchase Alaska from Russia in 1868 was a very artistic check. Decorated with fine cut lithographs, it featured perfect calligraphy and even the endorsements are historically very valuable and interesting. I wonder if, in a couple hundred years, we’ll be looking back on our credit card statements with the same reverence?
Increased Perceived Value with Art on Checks
Artistic checks also serve a need beyond pure decoration. Art imbues value into the financial record process. Can you imagine a simple blank piece of paper serving as a bank check? It simply wouldn’t express the perceived value that check needs to instill confidence.
Decorating money and checks with art is actually quite necessary. With the exception of gold and silver coins, money doesn’t have any real value. Artwork, symbols and decoration are used to create a feeling of trust in the value of the individual or institution that is backing the check or note.
Artistic Checks offer Higher Security
Our current artistic checks take the combination of decoration and security to new levels with all sorts of embedded features like watermarks, holograms and micro printing. All three of these methods have been developed to make checks much more difficult to counterfeit, thereby reducing fraud.
- Watermarks are transparent markings that are only visible when the check is held up to the light. They are specially created by an artist so they will not reproduce if the check is copied.
- Holograms are a more recent security innovation attached to checks on metallic foil. They contain an artistic 3-D picture which is visible only at a certain angle of viewing.
- Micro printing is a special check inking technique that embeds words as simple lines that make up the images on an artistic check. Only when these lines are viewed with a magnifying glass, can someone read the words.
Current Day Artistic Checks
The Internet has given rise to an explosion in artistic checks. These days the security features remain, but it is not uncommon for check printing companies to offer thousands of images, patterns, designs, and scenic elements for consumers to use to decorate their personal checks.
I hope this article has provided a new view into the rich history and the value of the artistic checks beyond the simple exchange of funds between two people’s bank accounts. They provide a look at the society of their time and even into the personal style and interests of the issuer.
January 31, 2008
When it comes to applying the word “designer” to the purchase of checks, it isn’t quite the same as in the world of haute couture, where the latest styles are cranked out by the likes of Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani. Designer checks actually refers more to a straying away from the traditional blue bank check and into the world of almost endless colors, shapes, images and scenes to decorate your financial exchange notes.
The fact is there are so many check designs that it can be overwhelming to narrow down what is possible when you want to purchase exciting checks. I’ve created this overview to give you a look into the main category options and make the journey to a more fun and interesting checkbook a bit more direct.
Being a sports lover, checks featuring major league professional teams are at the top of my list. You can purchase personal checks with backgrounds printed with any of the teams in the four top sports leagues:
Major League Baseball – MLB Checks
National Football League – NFL Checks
National Hockey League – NHL Checks
National Basketball Association – NBA Checks
Patriotic checks are the next most popular choice for designer checks. Personal checks with the Stars and Stripes of the United States flags as well as most major national landmarks and even images of former presidents and famous geographical vistas.
Automobiles and motorcycles are well represented as images to decorate your personal designer checks. These designs are varied enough to excite any car lover. Styles include everything from American muscle cars, exotic foreign sports cars checks and even hot rods and dragsters. There is also a complete range of check designs emblazoned with Harley Davidson and other cool motorcycle styles.
It is also worth noting that the check sellers offer groupings of check styles. For example you can purchase a batch of designer car checks that will contain backgrounds images of 4 different cool hotrods.
Are simple stylish checks more your speed? Consider the many designer checks which are created without a recognizable image but have a pattern or beautiful color as their background. You’ll find a full range of styles: everything from the most traditional and conservative to cutting edge swirls and latest designer fashion trends.
The last type of designer checks worth mentioning are probably the most fun. These checks cast YOU in the role of the designer! Have a favorite photo from a vacation or your sports team or whatever. The only limit is your imagination.
That concludes this brief tour of the possibilities for customizing your financial transactions with designer checks. You no longer have a excuse for suffering the burden of those plain-Jane ugly blue checks that your bank over charges you for. Yes, it’s true that all the cool designer checks won’t even cost you any more than the ones you receive from your bank.
July 15, 2006
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July 9, 2006
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