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Does your business need to accept checks? While more and more small businesses are able to avoid the potential problems involved in accepting checks, many still must do business with customers who pay by check. If this includes you, how can you reduce problems like fraud and insufficient funds? Here are five best practices to follow.
1. Check the Check
First, take a moment to really look at the check before you accept it. You or your employee should ensure that there are no altered portions, dark smudges or spots, or writing over other writing. Check for standard watermarks on the front and back. If you aren't familiar with common signs of fraudulent checks, your check depositing service can provide some tips.
2. Deposit Checks Quickly
Don't let customer checks sit around any longer than they must. The longer you wait to cash the check and get paid, the more likely it is that the funds won't be there. The best schedule for check cashing depends on how many checks you get and staff availability, of course, but no more than two or three days should pass between receipt and cashing.
3. Accept Pre-Printed Checks Only
Avoid checks that don't contain pre-printed company information and numbers. Handwritten information should be a red flag. If the account is new and checks are not yet permanent and pre-printed, you may want to call their financial institution to verify funds before acceptance. Cash these checks as soon as possible, even if it's outside the normal schedule.
4. Verify Client Identification
Ask customers for their identification when accepting a check. Make sure that the name and account holder matches. If possible, verify signatures if these are available on the identification. This process will help your staff become familiar with regular customers' signatures.
5. Use Reliable Cashing Facilities
A reputable check cashing facility can help avoid fraud in several ways. First, they become acquainted with your employees and customers, so they can help spot problems. Second, they know what to look for when it comes to potential fraud on the checks themselves. Finally, their facility is secure so you can have confidence that checks won't be used for fraudulent activities.
Want more tips for avoiding fraud when accepting checks or cashing them? Start by meeting with a professional check cashing service in your area. With their assistance and support, you can ensure that your business never loses money no matter how many checks it accepts from clients.
For more information on business check cashing, contact a money service or bank near you.Share