Using Online Banking to Write Checks

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Lisbon2022
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Using Online Banking to Write Checks

Post by Lisbon2022 »

For the last 10 years I have used a brick & mortar bank's online checking to write about 30 checks per month.
In the last year the delivery of the checks has extended to nearly two weeks. Up until 2023 I never has a problem.

I also have a Schwab checking account and same timeline is happening. It's become a problem.

Any suggestions?
livesoft
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Re: Using Online Banking to Write Checks

Post by livesoft »

What do you mean by "delivery of the checks"? Do you mean that buying physical checks takes time? Or do you mean that when you write physical checks that sending them is an issue? Or do you mean that it takes time to request that a check be sent?

I think that if the last one of those, that check writing has been replaced by Venmo, Zelle, and online bill pay which are all connected to one's checking account.

My suggestion: Use Venmo, Zelle, and online bill pay as they are all free.
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exodusNH
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Re: Using Online Banking to Write Checks

Post by exodusNH »

Lisbon2022 wrote: Mon Feb 05, 2024 1:46 pm For the last 10 years I have used a brick & mortar bank's online checking to write about 30 checks per month.
In the last year the delivery of the checks has extended to nearly two weeks. Up until 2023 I never has a problem.

I also have a Schwab checking account and same timeline is happening. It's become a problem.

Any suggestions?
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jebmke
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Re: Using Online Banking to Write Checks

Post by jebmke »

Sounds like the culprit is the USPS, not the bank. I've never really measured how long it takes for someone to get the check - not sure how I'd know without asking them. We do very little even by billpay - most of our transactions are on credit cards or direct debit. even my lawn service takes CC via Quickbooks now; a small local company - when I explained to him how the chances of non-payment increase over time when doing traditional invoicing and check processing he got it really quickly and converted his entire business to Quickbooks.

Are any of the payees "substantial" enough to convert to ACH? I know that some of our billpay transactions actually go via ACH and a physical check never gets generate.

Last year we had three checks (two bank, one DAF) disappear into the ether. The DAF non-recipient quickly arranged with VG to accept ACH. The payees for the bank checks were one offs so we dealt with that separately.
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CAsage
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Re: Using Online Banking to Write Checks

Post by CAsage »

That's an awful lot of paper to keep track of, and proportionally increases the risk of some getting lost/frauded. Can you break down the categories? I can give you only my own opinion, and how I manage life with about 1 check ... per month, max.

1) All utilities (elec/gas/water/trash) automatically direct debit from checking (they may charge for credit card)
2) E-utilities (cell/internet/youtube/netflix) automatically bill to a credit card (2% kickback)
3) All in store purchases via credit card
4) Insurance (HO/auto) paid online via credit card
5) Taxes paid either through withholding or e-check online (i.e. type in your RTN and acct nos)
6) Charity... Paid via Donor Advised fund - one could write one check there, and then issue grants as you choose. All of my charities accept direct payment from my Fidelity DAF... no checks!
7) My dentist! Ok, I do write a check .... or have my CU mail one. Takes ages to clear - could be some combo of slow processing at CU or Louis DeJoy's attempts to sabotage our USPS.... slower than it was a few years ago for sure.
What's left? My last actual check was July 2022- family for some shared expenses.

30 per month? Do tell! I will note I personally do not use Venmo or any other payment service due to fear of fraud...rational or not?
Last edited by CAsage on Mon Feb 05, 2024 2:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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bob60014
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Re: Using Online Banking to Write Checks

Post by bob60014 »

What's a check? ;)
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22twain
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Re: Using Online Banking to Write Checks

Post by 22twain »

Lisbon2022 wrote: Mon Feb 05, 2024 1:46 pm For the last 10 years I have used a brick & mortar bank's online checking to write about 30 checks per month.
Are you writing the checks and mailing them yourself, or are you having the bank do it for you by making an online request?
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cheese_breath
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Re: Using Online Banking to Write Checks

Post by cheese_breath »

Lisbon2022 wrote: Mon Feb 05, 2024 1:46 pm For the last 10 years I have used a brick & mortar bank's online checking to write about 30 checks per month.
In the last year the delivery of the checks has extended to nearly two weeks. Up until 2023 I never has a problem.

I also have a Schwab checking account and same timeline is happening. It's become a problem.

Any suggestions?
Suggestion... Don't write so many checks. There are other ways to pay your bills. I wrote six checks last year.
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mptfan
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Re: Using Online Banking to Write Checks

Post by mptfan »

cheese_breath wrote: Mon Feb 05, 2024 2:11 pm Suggestion... Don't write so many checks. There are other ways to pay your bills. I wrote six checks last year.
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HereToLearn
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Re: Using Online Banking to Write Checks

Post by HereToLearn »

CAsage wrote: Mon Feb 05, 2024 1:56 pm That's an awful lot of paper to keep track of, and proportionally increases the risk of some getting lost/frauded. Can you break down the categories? I can give you only my own opinion, and how I manage life with about 1 check ... per month, max.


30 per month? Do tell! I will note I personally do not use Venmo or any other payment service due to fear of fraud...rational or not?
I also didn't trust Venmo to link to my checking account so I had one of my children 'seed fund' my account, which allows me to use Venmo in a vacuum. Every now and then, when the balance reaches a level that I do not want sitting in Venmo, I have the same child write me a check and I Venmo the excess balance to him. Perhaps you could do the same, assuming you want to use Venmo.
mhalley
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Re: Using Online Banking to Write Checks

Post by mhalley »

Clark Howard hates Zelle with the passion of a thousand suns. And Venmo should be reserved for paying friends.
Topic Author
Lisbon2022
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Re: Using Online Banking to Write Checks

Post by Lisbon2022 »

Thank you all for the replies and suggestions!

Online checking accounts allows me to find an account, submit an amount than have the bank issue/ send a check.

The day I receive a bill, I go online and send a check.
There are gardeners, maintenance companies, contractors, etc. whom I send checks to. Going forward I will try other methods suggested.

Many thanks
Topic Author
Lisbon2022
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2022 4:04 pm

Re: Using Online Banking to Write Checks

Post by Lisbon2022 »

Thank you all for the replies and suggestions!

Online checking accounts allows me to find an account, submit an amount than have the bank issue/ send a check.

The day I receive a bill, I go online and send a check.
There are gardeners, maintenance companies, contractors, etc. whom I send checks to. Going forward I will try other methods suggested.

Many thanks
Lastrun
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Re: Using Online Banking to Write Checks

Post by Lastrun »

Lisbon2022 wrote: Mon Feb 05, 2024 1:46 pm For the last 10 years I have used a brick & mortar bank's online checking to write about 30 checks per month.
In the last year the delivery of the checks has extended to nearly two weeks. Up until 2023 I never has a problem.

I also have a Schwab checking account and same timeline is happening. It's become a problem.

Any suggestions?
All of my normal spending goes on credit cards for cash back. I then pay them by online ACH once a month. All have the same closing date and I pay them the same date.

I looked in Quicken, I wrote 15 checks last year. 1 was for a car purchase, 1 was for HOA dues, and the rest were all gifts or charities.

To me using online billpay where it cuts a check is just going digital to analog.
HereToLearn
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Re: Using Online Banking to Write Checks

Post by HereToLearn »

Lastrun wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 8:42 am
Lisbon2022 wrote: Mon Feb 05, 2024 1:46 pm For the last 10 years I have used a brick & mortar bank's online checking to write about 30 checks per month.
In the last year the delivery of the checks has extended to nearly two weeks. Up until 2023 I never has a problem.

I also have a Schwab checking account and same timeline is happening. It's become a problem.

Any suggestions?
All of my normal spending goes on credit cards for cash back. I then pay them by online ACH once a month. All have the same closing date and I pay them the same date.

I looked in Quicken, I wrote 15 checks last year. 1 was for a car purchase, 1 was for HOA dues, and the rest were all gifts or charities.

To me using online billpay where it cuts a check is just going digital to analog.
Some companies will not allow CC payments, even for a fee. Off the top of my head, home heating oil, water, and lawn service are a few that I have to pay by check, electronic or otherwise. I elect to pay my town by check for property taxes, car tax, and sewer tax b/c they charge too much for the CC fee.
corduroysuit
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Re: Using Online Banking to Write Checks

Post by corduroysuit »

Lisbon2022 wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 8:08 am Thank you all for the replies and suggestions!

Online checking accounts allows me to find an account, submit an amount than have the bank issue/ send a check.

The day I receive a bill, I go online and send a check.
There are gardeners, maintenance companies, contractors, etc. whom I send checks to. Going forward I will try other methods suggested.

Many thanks
It took me a minute to realize that you were not talking about old fashioned check-writing. Sounds like you’re looking for a better online billpay solution.

I agree with others that maybe USPS is the problem, but I also think each bank has a different lead time for scheduling a payment. There might be other banks that let you schedule a payment with a shorter lead time.

I have a small business and some customers pay me with billpay, i.e. checks sent via bank’s payment service. I don’t mind it as a way to get paid, since it’s free for everyone involved. I can accept ACH payments but get charged a fee for this, and credit cards are a substantial fee that I would have to pass on via higher prices for my services. So the billpay checks are pretty good.

Sometimes my customers will email me to let me know that the billpay check is scheduled, and give me an expected arrival date, which I really appreciate.

If this system works for you then I suggest that you just schedule the payments for earlier delivery, or see if you can find a bank that handles payments faster.
jebmke
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Re: Using Online Banking to Write Checks

Post by jebmke »

jebmke wrote: Mon Feb 05, 2024 1:54 pm Sounds like the culprit is the USPS, not the bank. I've never really measured how long it takes for someone to get the check - not sure how I'd know without asking them. We do very little even by billpay - most of our transactions are on credit cards or direct debit. even my lawn service takes CC via Quickbooks now; a small local company - when I explained to him how the chances of non-payment increase over time when doing traditional invoicing and check processing he got it really quickly and converted his entire business to Quickbooks.

Are any of the payees "substantial" enough to convert to ACH? I know that some of our billpay transactions actually go via ACH and a physical check never gets generate.

Last year we had three checks (two bank, one DAF) disappear into the ether. The DAF non-recipient quickly arranged with VG to accept ACH. The payees for the bank checks were one offs so we dealt with that separately.
Update: since I posted this on 2/5 I got an email from another DAF (we have two) that a check was never cashed and they canceled the check and reversed the grant. I have no way to know if this was a USPS issue or a lazy grant recipient.

That is now four checks MIA. I have started informing our preferred charities that they need to move to EFT or risk getting dropped from the list.
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whodidntante
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Re: Using Online Banking to Write Checks

Post by whodidntante »

Lisbon2022 wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 8:08 am Thank you all for the replies and suggestions!

Online checking accounts allows me to find an account, submit an amount than have the bank issue/ send a check.

The day I receive a bill, I go online and send a check.
There are gardeners, maintenance companies, contractors, etc. whom I send checks to. Going forward I will try other methods suggested.

Many thanks
I'd tell them that the check processing time has increased to two weeks, and if they'd like faster payment, you will do Venmo/Cashapp/Paypall/Zelle/bank wire or whatever you want to offer, or offer to let them charge your credit card.
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Tubes
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Re: Using Online Banking to Write Checks

Post by Tubes »

Having been on the other side of billpay, receiving the checks, I was convinced I'll never use billpay.

I was treasurer at a small profit and would get billpay paper checks from people. It was a messy, error prone process. I would not use it. My opinion.

Sometimes we'd get a stack of paper checks meant for another service provider mixed up with ours! Mostly, the biggest issue is we'd get a check from out of the blue with no information on it. No idea who it was from or what it was for. Sometimes the "memo" items people would write on their on-line form would get through to us, sometimes it didn't.

It just was not a good system if you want reliability. Too many points of failure or to obscure things: the bank, the billpay processor (most banks use a 3rd party) and USPS.

And as for forcing it to be ACH or electronic -- that's up to the bank. Small charities have zero chance of being included as ACH. We'd get paper checks from people banking at our own bank. Didn't matter.
jebmke
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Re: Using Online Banking to Write Checks

Post by jebmke »

Tubes wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 12:20 pm And as for forcing it to be ACH or electronic -- that's up to the bank. Small charities have zero chance of being included as ACH. We'd get paper checks from people banking at our own bank. Didn't matter.
Some smaller ones around here had no issue. The "irony" is that small charities also tend to be the weakest on administrative processes and internal controls. In one case locally I have worked in an advisory capacity with the organization to team up with a local community foundation. Donations are now routed to the foundation and the foundation manages a pass-through account for them. They also got some tailwind on fundraising since the foundation folks know how to do this in their sleep.
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