Bad Checks

Anyone using veripizza or any other check verification service to before
you accept a check? If so what service and easy is it to use?

The best prevention to this system is to NOT except checks.If its a business check from a good customer then its a diff. story but I wouldn’t except no personal checks at all.


Personal checks are about 15% of my business. Most customers are trustworthy and although bounced checks are frustrating I wouldn’t stop taking checks any more than I would stop taking credit cards. There are several good companies you can use. CrossCheck, Certegy, and Heartland are just a few. Most charge a $25 minimum a month and as long as you follow the rules(no starter checks, name, address, phone number on the check, approval number etc.) you will get reimbursed by the company and they take the responsibility of going after the bad check writer and collecting the money. There are definately two sides to the argument over taking checks and both sides have valid points. Most of us have been burned badly by the low lifes that hit every place they can. Some stop taking checks completely and some of us use check verification services. You have to decide what is right and good for your business but neither decision is a bad one.

I stopped taking personal checks years ago after taking someone to small claims court only to find out that there is no real way to collect from deadbeats. They don’t show up for court and the judge files a judgement against them which means you get nothing.

There are services but i haven’t seen ones that cover the other bank fees that many banks hit you with. Many banks charge $35 per check that bounces? Do they give you that back as well?

Most people these days have a debit card attached to their checking account so i find that to be a safer alternative to accept.

We thought about going cash or Credit only. Then ran the numbers. We’d pay MORE in credit card fees than what we were ‘losing’ to bad checks. Our check recovery service does a great job. Very seldom do we NOT get a bounced check recovered. And if we don’t we use our POS to lock that person or address down.

I’ve tossed and I’ve turned with this issue. The answer lies in my marketing philosophy:

Try to reach as many demographic profiles as possible each and every time you advertise.

So my answer to accepting checks is a simple one: yes I do. I’m not going to disregard a percentage of my customer base because I won’t take their check. Sure I know most of them are “kite-ing” the check for a day or two in hopes that their deposit will make it to the bank before mine does. Sometimes they get caught, sometimes they don’t. But I’ll be damned if I turn away their business.

As far as check acceptance procedures, I’ve got two lines of defense:

  1. I’ve got my bank set up to run it three times. If they collect they add their own NSF fee onto it. If they don’t collect, nothing gets added and they…

  2. Send it to a local check collection firm. The only info they require is a correct address and phone number. They take care of the rest and guarantee my checks 100%. In other words, whether they collect or not, I get paid.


We take checks. They amount to maybe 12% - 15% of sales so we are taking thousands of dollars worth of them every month. We use check collection service where the bad check goes directly to the service from the bank.

All in all we lose $250 - $400 per year in bad checks on quite a bit of sales. On the same amount of buisness the credit card fees would be $2000 - $2500. Is it frustrating? Sure. Worth dropping? Not even close. Once we started using a collection service, the habitual bad check writers stopped ordering from us.

I had never thought of it this way. Thanks guys! We have had some checks bounce recently and it has been frustrating, but in that same time frame we have accepted many good checks which, if those customers would not have been able to write them they would have either not ordered from us, or used their credit card which would have resulted in credit card fees. So, yeah, I would say it is worth it to accept checks even if a few bad apples are out there…they at least don’t spoil the whole bunch.


I require the drivers to put our order number on the corner of the check which allows me to determine what address the order went to in addition to the info printed on the check. We don’t take checks that are not pre-printed and in April we don’t take them from the college dorm.