Check Printing and Mailing Services offered by Commercial Banks
Corporations all across the world make a wide variety of payments via checks. This includes statutory payments, payments to utility vendors as well as many other vendors who do not have access to electronically enabled payment systems. These checks are automatically issued using a digital signature.
The process of creating and issuing these checks is quite different as compared to regular checks processed by individuals. Commercial banks all over the world help their corporate clients to simplify their check printing and mailing process. They do so by providing check printing and mailing services for a fee.
In this article, we will have a closer look at what check printing and mailing services are. We will also understand the benefits that corporations derive from using such services.
How do Check Printing and Mailing Services Work?
Banks provide their retail customers with pre-printed checkbooks. These pre-printed checkbooks have most of the details printed, the other details have to be manually filled in while issuing checks. However, corporations issue thousands of checks every month. Hence, they cannot rely on the manual process of check printing.
Corporations need their checks to be automatically printed. Now, such check printing can be done by the corporation themselves. Many corporations have their own printers where they print their checks and send the same to their beneficiaries. However, this is an additional department for the corporation which requires administrative work. Also, there is a high chance of embezzlement happening in such operations.
As a result, many corporations have decided to outsource their check printing services to commercial banks. As a part of this service, the corporation provides the bank with a digital file that contains information about the checks to be issued. The bank then takes over the administrative responsibility of accurately printing the checks and the payment advice and then sending the same to the beneficiaries. This helps corporations reduce the costs of having an administrative team to deal with check printing and mailing.
Types of Check Printing and Mailing Services
There are certain variants of check printing and mailing services that are provided by commercial banks. Some of the prominent variations are described below:
- Centralized Mailing via Regular Mail: As a part of this model, banks print all the corporate checks from a centralized location. Once these checks are printed, they are sent using regular mail or postage service. The problem is that postage services can often be slow and hence the delivery of checks can be significantly delayed. The problem becomes more acute if the vendor is physically located at a greater distance from the centralized location.
- Centralized Overnight Mailing: As an alternative to the problem mentioned above, banks can enable some important checks to be sent via more expensive courier services. These services can overnight a check to far way locations which help deal with the speed problem. However, the expenses associated with such overnight fees can be quite steep. The end result is that the process does not remain cost-effective any longer.
- Pickup at Nearest Branch: There is another variant of the check printing service which does not require the bank to mail these checks to the customers. Instead, the customers pick up these checks from the bank. This is a decentralized way of processing checks as compared to the centralized way mentioned above.
In this process, banks recognize the branch which is nearest to the address of the vendor. Instead of centrally printing checks, they print them at the nearest branch. The vendor is assigned a fixed day of the week wherein they can pick up their checks from the help desk of the assigned branch. This method works only if banks have a widespread network. This can combine the speed of the overnight method at a very low cost since no expensive courier services are involved.
Advantages of Check Printing and Mailing Services
The check printing and mailing services are used by a lot of large corporations. The reason behind the usage of such services is as follows:
- Simpler Process: The process of check printing becomes quite simple and automated for the corporation. Their ERP systems are designed to generate a file and transmit the same to banks. Hence, from the corporations point of view, even the check printing process becomes as seamless and as effective as an electronic payment. This simplification ends up saving time, money, and effort for the corporation.
- Cost Effectiveness: Commercial banks do check printing and mailing on a very large scale. Hence, they reap the benefits of economies of scale. They get much better rates on paper, ink, and even courier services as compared to what individual companies get. This is because they use these products and services in bulk and are able to negotiate a better price.
- Increased Security of Payments: The checks printed and issued by banks have a distinct MICR ink which makes it easy to identify a genuine check. Hence, from the corporations point of view, the checks issued from these locations are more secure than if the corporation issues the check themselves!
The bottom line is that check printing and mailing services are relatively simple and low-tech services provided by commercial banks which provide a lot of benefits to their corporate clients. It is for this reason that such check printing and mailing is an important part of commercial banking services and is often the reason that customers choose one bank over another.
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