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Questions About Check 21




What is Check 21 all about?

Check 21 is legislation allowing banks and financial institutions to transmit images of checks rather than sending the physical checks to the bank the check is drawn on. As a result, as of late 2004 all checks must comply to the rules for where information is located, the contrast between background designs and what is printed and in particular that the bottom 5/8" (called the MICR clear band) be free of printing except for the magnetic ink numbers and symbols.

Anyone buying checks today should ensure that they are "Check 21" compatible, because your bank has the option of charging a fee for each check that they have to process manually.

Are the checks from ASAP Checks compatible with Check 21?

All of our checks are compatible with Check 21.

But there is more to the story. QuickBooks and Quicken versions prior to 2006 print the memo line in an area called the MICR clear band, violating the standards for checks even before Check 21 came along. Even with the 2006 versions, as of this writing only wallet check printing has an option for the memo to be printed higher. We have failed in our attempts to convince Intuit to correct this problem with their software; we can only assume that they need to use up a large supply of already printed check paper.

What if I continue to use old-style checks?

If you use checks that are not compatible with Check 21 requirements then you run the risk of being charged a manual processing fee for every check (in the past, we have heard of these fees being in the range of $1 to $3 per check. Processing of your check will also likely be delayed.


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