There are many ways to pay your business bills. Some businesses still write paper checks and mail them, while others pay online by credit card, ACH, or wire. Companies that use digital payment platforms often pay via online check payments or eChecks. In this article, we’ll explain what the difference is between some of those payment options and how you can save time by sending check payments online.
What’s an online check payment?
Some business checking accounts and bill pay services allow you to make payments online, then they’ll send out a paper check to the payee on your behalf. This eliminates the need to physically write a check, seal it in an envelope, and pay for a stamp to mail it out. That’s the time consuming and expensive way to do it. Online checks are cheaper and faster, plus you don’t need to make a trip to the bank or post office.
Sending a check online vs. electronic check
With an online check payment, your payee receives a physical paper check in the mail. That doesn’t happen with an electronic check. An eCheck functions more like a direct deposit. The funds are wired to your payee’s bank account, where they’ll typically be available in one to five business days. When the eCheck is issued, the amount is debited from the payer’s account.
How online check payments save you time
With most bill pay services, paying with an online check is as easy as entering an amount and payee, selecting check as your payment method, and hitting send or schedule. That’s a huge time-saver over writing, sealing, stamping, and mailing a paper check. Your bill pay service should also do the ledger entries automatically, which saves time in the accounting process.
Say goodbye to stamps and envelopes
Using online checks means you don’t have to worry about writing out the check, making sure you have a stamp, and heading to the bank or post office to mail it. You can also pay bills by check when you’re traveling away from home or need to get a payment out right away and don’t have your checkbook on you. Most bill pay services also have mobile apps to help you make and schedule payments while on the go.
Easily track your check payments
When you send a paper check yourself, you need to get in touch with your payee to see whether they’ve received the check and then wait for them to cash or deposit it. With online check payments, you can track the check from the moment it’s sent to the moment it’s received. Your banking/bill pay dashboard should tell you when those funds have cleared, which is a huge improvement over calling your vendor to confirm receipt.
The benefits of online check payments
Online check payments are fast, convenient, and secure. They can give your company more control over the bill paying process and you’ll no longer need to buy envelopes and stamps. Most bill pay services have online checks as a payment option, so you can skip the bank or post office by letting your bill pay service send out paper checks on your behalf.
Plus, you can track exactly when those check payments are received and available to your payee. This helps with more accurate accounting and can minimize payment disputes because all payments are logged and tracked as soon as you hit send.