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How Do You Accept a Check by Phone?

Accepting a check by phone is very easy if you know what to do. It’s about as difficult as doing manual credit card processing over the phone, and you’ll be following many of the same steps in regards to collecting information and ensuring that the funds are transferred to your account. Only those with merchant accounts are able to accept checks via this method, so be sure to have an account before trying this.

Methods

There are two different methods for accepting checks over the phone, and it largely depends on your processing system and merchant account. The most common way is to enter the check’s information via the computer, such as the routing number and personal details, so that the funds are added to your account. The other way is to enter the information, and then print out a physical check with all the numbers and details. You can then deposit this check into your account.

Both methods are considered safe and take about the same amount of time, though the former might take a day longer on average.

Account

Merchant accounts are required for processing a check over the phone. Most accounts offer this as an optional feature, but you’ll typically have to pay a fee for using this tool. The fee depends on how many checks and how much money you intend on processing. One of the problems with this method is that you are limited based on your account, but this also prevents fraud and keeps both you and the customer safe. Be sure to set your account based on your realistic expectations. If you’ll only process $5,000 in checks every month, then there’s no need to set your account limit to $15,000.

Collecting Funds

This is very similar to manual credit card processing over the phone. The client will call you with the check’s details.
Just open your system, enter the details and process the payment accordingly. Like with most checks, you should have the money within a few days. There is the same amount of risk as accepting physical checks in general, and most merchants find this a reliable and safe way to collect money.

Conclusion

Accepting checks by phone is very easy. You just need the right account and system, which is generally provided by your financial institution, and then the details of the check to collect payment. Just be sure to set your account accordingly so that you don’t run into any issues.

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