Last night while in the checkout line at the grocery, I noticed that the woman in front of me was paying by check. We don’t see many people who still pay by check so I took notice. The process at the grocery is to scan the check and debit the amount from the account. In fact, they don’t keep the check, rather they hand it back to you. They have converted the old “Check-Transaction” to “ACH-Transaction” (electronic payments made through an Automated Clearing House network). Let’s talk about checks for a moment. Many businesses still pay a lot of bills by check. This is the least secure payment method. A check contains your account number, your routing number, and your signature! That’s all that is needed for the criminal to steal from your account and it is only protected by a paper envelope. A check that is mailed may pass through 17 hands before it reaches the intended recipient. A quick YouTube search for “How to wash a check” will teach you how a criminal can remove the payee info from your check and replace it with their own. I encourage you to search for “2017 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey” and read up on the topic.
At Alexssa we take security seriously and have recently introduced an Online Payment System to protect our clients. Invoices can be paid by ACH or credit card. Recurring payments are handled automatically to automate subscription transactions. If you are still paying us via check, we encourage you to contact us and make the switch to a more secure payment method. I also encourage you to consider working with all of your vendors to minimize the amount of checks written. Your bank is a great resource as they deal with payment fraud every day and they offer multiple protections that help protect you.