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Over the last few years, I’ve written extensively about the need for insurance agents to accept electronic payments. It seems everywhere you look, there is a new electronic payment service available such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, Stripe, and who knows how many others.
The other side of electronic payments is you being able to pay your agency bills electronically. And it has not been easy or possible – until now.
Deluxe eChecks has created a secure process (called Deluxe eChecksPro) that allows you to send a check to anyone with an email address to pay your bills. You may know Deluxe as the company that sends the little box of paper checks when you open a bank account.
And, yes, you read that correctly. I now can send a check as payment to anyone with an email address virtually instantaneously using the Deluxe eChecks platform.
Here’s how Deluxe eChecks works:
- Create an eChecksPro account. Signing up for an account is free and takes just a few minutes. Once you’ve created an account, you add a checking account and select the number of checks that’s right for you (the first five are FREE), so you can begin sending and receiving checks. The Separation of Controls feature allows you to add other users with specific authorizations that you, as the owner of the account, can choose.
- Create a single check to send or set up and send multiple checks. It is also easy to set up and send batch check runs by exporting a CSV file from your accounting software. Upload the file to the eChecksPro service and, with just a few clicks, you can deliver any number of checks quickly and easily.
- Once the check(s) are created, the eChecksPro platform will send an email to the individual with a link allowing them to go to the eChecksPro site to retrieve and print the check.
- Once printed, the eCheck contains the same elements as a regular paper check, including routing number, account number, signature, amount, payee, and check number.
- The printed check can be deposited as they usually would be by scanning, taking a picture with their smartphone, or taking the check to the bank as part of their regular daily deposit.
I have been using this service for a couple of years without any problems or pushback.
A new service just announced – called Print+Mail – allows you to request a check be mailed. This works substantially the same way your current bank pays by mail. The difference is that many banks don’t have the service for commercial accounts.
You access both the new Print+Mail solution and the existing eChecks from a single platform so you can pick the delivery method that works best.
The cost of using either delivery method (Print+Mail or eChecksPro) is about $0.50 per check sent. The more checks you purchase at one time, the lower per check price. That equals the cost of the stamp you use to mail the check. Seem like a deal to me.
The eChecksPro service from Deluxe is also an interesting example of an old firm learning how to reinvent their service to be relevant in the digital age. We could stand to learn from them.