Monday, August 23, 2010

Five Steps to Ordering Personal Checks Online

Barns on the Prairie Personal Checks

Many people request personal checks from their financial institution. Usually, selection of designs when buying through a bank is limited. Some banks charge extra fees that customers aren't even aware of. Many customers don't realize that they don't have to buy personal checks from their own financial institutions. They can actually be purchased online, often more cheaply than at the bank.

Cheap checks are available in a number of places. Stationers and printers sometimes offer these services. However, the cheapest are typically found online.

These online stores specialize in personal checks. Specialty stores like these are able to offer deeply discounted products, since that's all they do. This means you can often find cheaper prices than with your local bank.

Another advantage to ordering online is having a greater selection of design choices. These stores typically have dozens or even hundreds of designs to choose from. You may even be able to order accessories, like checkbook covers and address labels, in matching/coordinating designs.

Purchasing personalized products online is usually actually more convenient than ordering them from your financial institution. Placing your first order will likely take 10 to 15 minutes. Re-ordering after that will be as simple as a few mouse clicks.

Here's what you'll need to do:

1) Obtain a MICR Specification Sheet from your financial institution. MICR stands for "Magnetic Ink Character Recognition." This is a technology that is employed by the banking industry.

This technology allows computers to scan and read information on a printed document. It is similar to the barcode scanning system used by retailers. However, MICR information can also be read manually (unlike retail bar codes) by human beings.

You may notice the MICR code on your personal checks. It is usually located at the bottom left of each slip.

The information tells a computer what bank and branch you use and what your account number is. Every personal check must have this information printed on it.

Your bank can supply you with the MICR Specification Sheet. It contains the coding information that must be printed on your personal checks.

2) Send the MICR Specification Sheet to your online supplier. The store will give you directions how to do this. You may be required to scan the document and send it by e-mail.

3) Choose your design. This process is just like purchasing any other product online. Simply choose your product and begin the ordering process.

4) Provide your personal information. The store will need your name, address and any other information that will be printed on each slip. You will also be asked for your e-mail address and mailing address (if it differs from the one to be printed) for the store's records.

5) Pay for your order. You are typically able to pay with most major credit cards. Some online stores also allow you to pay through an online bank like PayPal.

It typically takes between two and three weeks, depending on where you live, to receive your product in the mail. Some online stores may offer faster shipping methods at a small extra charge if you need them faster.

Once your ordering information is on file, you will be able to re-order new personal checks quickly. You won't need to obtain a new MICR Specification Sheet unless you have changed financial institutions or changed accounts. Online buying is simple and efficient. It also gives you the freedom to choose a product that reflects your individuality.

Learn how to save money with cheap checks and business checks here.

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