Odds are, it may have been quite sometime since you’ve sent some checks in the mail, but that doesn’t mean this payment method has gone extinct. In fact, millions of individuals and businesses still rely on check printing and processing for their everyday payments. Compared to other forms of payment, checks are often seen as a safer, more reliable, and universally-accepted way to send and receive funds. But even the most secure form of payment can be exposed to potential fraud, risking your personal information and money.
Many people may be especially concerned when sending a paper check in the mail. While this type of payment has been done countless times for decades, is this still a safe and secure way to transfer funds? If you’re concerned about sending checks in the mail, we have the information to help. Here, we’re taking a closer look at this common type of payment and helping you determine whether or not you can still safely send checks in the mail. We also offer some practical tips to help make your check payments more secure, which means your funds and personal information have a better chance of being protected from fraud.
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Why Do People Still Use Checks for Payments?
Nowadays, you have quite a few options when it comes to finding a secure and reliable way to send and receive money. You can utilize credit cards, debit cards, money orders, or even just rely on cash. But to this day, many businesses and individuals still use checks when it comes to their financial transactions? Why is this? Well, let’s just take a look at some of the benefits to using checks for your payments.
- Security: even with our range of new digital transactions, checks remain one of the safer payment options. With advanced and new check security features, such as water marks, micro printing, and thermochromatic ink, it’s harder than ever to successful forge a check and commit check fraud.
- Accepted almost anywhere: if you’re worried about your payment being accepted, you should stick with checks. Compared to other types of payment (second probably only to actual cash), checks are the most accepted form of payment. Checks are secure, easy to process, and even allow businesses to save on costs. Especially if you’re shopping with a small business, use a check to help them avoid credit card fees.
- Easier to track: when using a check, your bank automatically makes a copy of the check so that they can track payments. If your check is sent via UPS, USPS, or any other major shipping group, you can also request tracking to enhance security and peace of mind when sending checks in the mail. This also enables you to receive notification when your check does finally arrive.
Is It Still Safe to Send Checks in the Mail?
While there is always the risk of fraud (no matter how you make your payments) you can feel safe about sending checks in the mail. Yes, despite the rise in check fraud and more advanced methods for enacting fraud, check payments via mail are still one of your more secure options when it comes to making a payment. So, yes, don’t hesitate the next time you want to send a check in the mail, but do consider steps you can take to make this form of payment even more safe and secure.
5 Ways to Protect Your Checks in the Mail
Dropping off your check in the mail can feel harmless enough, but there are some things to keep in mind before you make your next check payment. Sending checks in the mail leaves you at risk for potential check fraud or even theft. To help prevent these risks, and to protect your personal information and funds, here are 5 ways to protect your checks in the mail:
- Never make them payable to cash: stealing a check that is made payable to cash is the easiest way for someone to commit check fraud. When a check is made out to cash, someone can just cash it at a bank or any other store that cashes checks. Always make sure that your check is written out to a specific person or organization that you intend to pay.
- Use the post office: whenever you can, take that extra trip and drop off your check at a nearby post office or any other secured mail box. For example, you could also utilize a local FedEx store. These boxes are much more difficult for someone to tamper with than your home mail box.
- Conceal the check: your classic white envelope may seem secure enough, but this coloring isn’t exactly ideal for sending checks. Held up to the light, it’s easy to see exactly what’s inside. Use a darker colored envelope if you can. Or, you can also just wrap your check in a piece of paper to conceal it from potential fraud.
- Get all the information correct: make sure you’ve completely filled out the entire check with accurate information. Missing bits of information makes it easier for someone to then forge your check and incorrect information, like in the address, could easily get your check lost.
- Send with certified mail: for even more security, consider sending your check via certified mail so it’s even easier to track.
Conclusion – Is it Still Safe to Send Checks in the Mail?
When it comes to sending or receiving funds, you have quite a few options. No matter which you choose, we all really want the same thing: fast, secure, and reliable payments. This is why so many individuals and organizations are still using check payments. While checks may seem outdated to some, checks are still popular and useful because they’re safe and secure, almost universally accepted, and easier to track. For many people, writing and sending checks is just a simpler way to make a payment.
However, despite the security of sending checks, there still always exists the potential for fraud. Fraudulent or stolen checks can put your personal information and funds at risk. To keep your checks in the mail safe, never make your checks payable to cash, use a USPS mailbox when you can, and hide your check in a colored envelope or even just with a piece of paper. By keeping these simple tips in mind, you can rest easy knowing your funds are secure.
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