How to Print on Pre-printed Checks? Pre-printed Checks vs Blank Checks
Printing your own checks has always been better than ordering checks from your bank. It is time-saving, cost-effective, and allows you to have access to your checks at any time. Check print, and mail solutions like PostGrid can help you write and print your own checks efficiently without any manual intervention. Furthermore, these solutions also help you get the checks mailed to the respective recipients. In case of emergency payments, printing checks yourself can prove to be very useful. If you are thinking about purchasing counter checks or cashier’s checks when you run out of checks, you should know that they are quite expensive, and you need to visit the bank physically to purchase them.
Now, when you decide on printing your own checks, you also need to decide whether you want to print on pre-printed check stock or blank check stock. They both have their own pluses and minuses. The checks that your bank prints and mails to you can be considered pre-printed checks. Usually, the bank charges a fee for printing and mailing checks to you, which is why you should decide on the check stock option and proceed with printing your own checks. In this blog, we will know what does pre-printed check mean and also discuss how it is different from a blank check.
What Is a Pre-Printed Check?
A pre-printed check is the one that already has non-variable data printed on it. The bank name, address, payer details, void after a period, and bank account number are already printed on such checks. Moreover, the bank routing number is also printed on the MICR line. Oftentimes, some variable data such as the cheque numbers are also pre-printed on checks. The only information needed to be filled in is the payee name, date, signature, amount in dollars, and words. These details can be filled in later on either manually or by using check writing and printing software.
Pre-printed checks are pre-designed. The entire format is already designed and printed on checks, thereby making it easy for users to make speedy payments by just filling in a few details. The bank charges a fee to provide pre-printed checks to their customers. If you are printing checks yourself, there are three ways to go about it. You can either purchase blank check stock and print everything or pre-printed check stock and print partially. The third way is to first purchase blank check stock and print all the non-variable fields and details and then fill in other details whenever required.
Pros and Cons of Pre-Printed Checks
Saves Time and Effort: Using pre-printed personal checks, individuals can save a lot of time and effort. Businesses can also benefit from pre-printed checks as they can make their payments speedily, and their employees don’t have to worry about writing checks from scratch every time. This way, they can avoid any errors and check wastages.
Better Quality: Pre-printed checks are of better quality than blank checks. They already have the necessary security features and the MICR line. Since the cheque layout and design are all printed beforehand, you need not possess some graphic designing skills or even a check writing software to print your checks. However, if you want to fill in the payee and amount details, a check writing software for pre-printed checks can make your work easier.
Expensive: It is not wrong to say that pre-printed checks can put a hole in your pockets. Banks charge quite a bit to print and mail checks to you. Moreover, as discussed above, counter and cashier’s checks can also be very expensive.
Security Concerns: The biggest con of pre-printed checks is the security concerns that come along. They have all the vital details printed on them, such as your details, bank account number, and bank routing number. Thieves and frauds can misuse this information easily and cause a lot of trouble.
Time-Consuming: Since pre-printed checks are kept in the bank’s vault, the teller can typically take around 8 to 9 minutes to give you your checks. Moreover, it takes quite a while to print payee and amount information on pre-printed checks due to alignment issues.
Alignment Issues: Talking about alignment, it is very easy to mess up with it while printing your checks. There should absolutely be no clash of lines and columns. Furthermore, you also need to take care that the details are being printed rightly on the respective fields. If you know how to print pre-printed checks using Word, you can get the task done after testing the alignment a few times.
Wastages: Pre-printed checks are prone to wastages. These checks already have all the non-variable details printed. Therefore, in case of an account change or closure, these checks become useless. Pre-printed voided checks are a great wastage of money and paper.
How to Print on Pre-Printed Checks?
In case of pre-printed checks, you do not require any check printing inventory like a MICR printer, MICR font, or magnetic ink. You can simply get started with your home or office printer and regular black ink.
You will have to install a check writing software like PostGrid or integrate your accounting program with PostGrid’s check API. It can help you print on pre-printed checks easily. After getting ready with these things, you can enter in the payee name, date, amount, and your signature. The software can help you upload and save your signature and use it whenever needed.
Double-check all the information before giving the print command. Furthermore, you have to make sure that the pre-printed checks are loaded correctly in your printer. One slight mistake is equivalent to wasting a check. Once you get these things in place, you can proceed with printing on pre-printed checks.
The check-writing software for pre-printed checks already scans your bank cheque size and design, so you don’t have to worry about check layout and alignment. However, printing on pre-printed checks can be troublesome when you are doing it by just using Word. Hence, in order to avoid wastages and save time, it is recommended to install and use the check writing software if you know how to print on pre-printed checks.
What are Blank Checks?
Blank checks are those checks that do not have any information printed on them. Basically, blank checks can be referred to as blank check paper stock. They can not be called checks yet, because they are only papers with certain security features like watermarks and micro prints. Individuals and companies need to print everything from the bank’s logo, name, address, payer information to the MICR line and void after a period. Moreover, they have to design the check layout and add in the necessary fields such as date and amount. Printing on blank checks is like drafting and writing checks from scratch. You need to have the MICR printer, magnetic ink, check writing software, blank check stock, and MICR font to start printing.
You might be wondering why anyone would prefer blank checks when pre-printed checks are so convenient. Now that you know what a pre-printed check is, you also understand that they have their own disadvantages. Hence, businesses turn towards blank checks to curb these disadvantages and make the best out of printing their own checks.
Difference Between Pre-Printed and Blank Checks
Talking about safety and security, blank checks are definitely more secure than pre-printed checks. It is because blank checks are just rough pieces of paper that have no data or information printed on them. They can be kept anywhere without having to use a vault to assure their safety. On the other hand, pre-printed checks need to be guarded so that they are not stolen, and the information printed on them is not misused.
Blank checks are available easily and at a very economical cost. Additionally, you can get good discounts on buying blank check stock in bulk. Pre-printed checks are always costlier than blank checks.
Check Layout and Alignment
While printing on pre-printed checks, it is difficult to type within the columns correctly and not waste checks. The layout and alignment issues demand a lot of time and effort. But, while printing on blank checks, you need not worry about these things.
When you order pre-printed checks, you don’t get to customize them. The design is already pre-printed, and you just have to fill it in. However, you can personalize and customize your checks easily while printing on blank checks.
It is obvious that pre-printed checks have most of the information already filled in, which saves you some time. But, it is to be noted that printing on pre-printed checks requires some effort to get the alignment right. Hence, the time saved is more like compensation for the added effort. Plus, pre-printed checks can be wasted. On comparing, blank checks can never be wasted, and you can speed up the process by using check writing and printing software or API.
Role of a Check Writing and Printing Software
A check writing software like PostGrid can help you print on pre-printed and blank checks both with the same speed and efficiency. Therefore, it can always be a win-win for you.
In case you need to save additional costs, you can print on blank checks without having to worry about the check design and layout. PostGrid’s check API can help you draft checks in just a few minutes. In addition to that, it can also help you get your checks printed and mailed automatically. Every step is completed in an automated way, which can help you save time, effort, money and also induce efficiency.