Should you automate your cheque printing?

Many business owners use cheques as a payment technique, and as such many do their own cheque printing. Those that aren’t using an accredited cheque printer run the risk of leaving themselves vulnerable to fraud, or encountering difficulties with the new cheque clearing system that all banks will have in place by the second half of 2018.

Here at Hague we are one of the largest specialist cheque suppliers in the industry, and we provide cheques that exceed the design and security standard of the UK’s Cheque and Credit Clearing Company. In this article we will talk you through best practice for creating cheques that meet these high standards, and ensure you don’t run into difficulties while they are being processed.

Bank Authorisation

If you wish to personalise and create your own cheques, you must first ensure the bank in which your account is held has given you authorisation. You must assure the bank that you are aware of all standards set by the C&CCC, and guarantee you can meet strict security measures.

Base stock purchasing

All cheque printing in the United Kingdom must be made on special ‘base stock’, a type of cheque paper which has been pre-printed with the coloured security background. If a business wishes to use its own cheque printing machine to create and personalise its own cheques, it must first acquire a supply of base stock paper. This paper can be bought from a CPAS member, and their name as well as yours must appear on the cheque.

Cheque printer machine

If you are intending on printing the skeleton of the cheque, which consists of the MICR code and any personalisation data, you should first speak with your bank to ensure your printer is Smithers Pira approved. You must also make sure to use the appropriate toner as this can impact whether or not the MICR code is readable.

Security & Quality control

When it comes to cheque printing, it’s crucial to maintain an extremely high level of quality and security. You may even want to set aside a secure area which few staff members have access to as, in the wrong hands, base paper that has not yet been filled in can be used for cheque fraud. All staff members should also be trained in the important topics of C&CCC Standard 3.

Testing

So you don’t run into problems with the new automated cheque clearing system, it’s vital that the MICR code is printed in high quality. This requires regular checks to ensure the characters are clear and in the correct position.

The best and most cost effective way to guarantee your cheques meet all C&CCC standards is to work with a professional printing specialist. We have over 30 years in the business, and have helped high profile companies and organisations with their cheque printing. To find out more you can fill in our enquiry form and we will get in touch once we have your details.