Starter checks allow new account owners to still make payments, but businesses may be wary of accepting them due to their lack of personalization. On-demand check printing solutions can offer a faster and more personalized option to standard starter checks.
In this blog, we’ll discuss the differences between starter checks vs regular checks and how an on-demand printing solution can increase revenue in your branch.
What Is a Starter Check?
According to 2020 data from J.D. Power, 55% of new checking and savings accounts are still opened in person at a branch — and this number was expected to drop in the following two years.
A starter check is a type of check issued by a financial institution to a new account holder when they open a checking account. Sometimes, starter checks have limitations, such as a limit on the amount of money that can be written on them or a limit on how long they can be used.
Can You Get Temporary Checks From Your Financial Institution?
In many cases, yes. Also called temporary checks, starter checks are designed to be used until the permanent checks for the account are printed and delivered to the account holder. These permanent, personalized checks often take weeks to print and ship, so financial institutions provide consumers with a printed equivalent as a substitute during this time.
What Does a Starter Check Look Like?
Starter checks look similar to regular checks and still contain the routing information needed to process the check. However, they do not include personal information, such as the consumer’s name or address.
They also have a very low check number printed in the upper right-hand corner, indicating a new account, or they may have no pre-printed check numbers at all.
The image below depicts a starter check example and highlights the differences between a custom starter check vs a temporary check.
Drawbacks of Temporary Starter Checks
If you’re wondering how to cash a starter check, you must first hand-write the missing personal information on the check.
However, starter checks with no name pre-printed on them, and/or those with a low check number, create security concerns for financial institutions. This may cause delays in check processing as the branch works to validate the additional information given. In some cases, the check may even be rejected.
Additionally, some companies may be concerned that the check will bounce since the low check number indicates it is from a new account and the initial deposit may still be pending.
These are legitimate concerns for businesses and would clearly cause frustration and potential embarrassment for the consumer.
How Custom Starter Checks Improve the Customer Experience While Increasing Revenue
To prevent the headaches associated with generalized pre-printed starter checks, financial institutions can utilize an on-demand check printing system in-house. A secure in-house check printer allows financial institutions to print starter checks that include the consumer’s name, account number, address, and phone number.
If given the option, many consumers would opt for on-site personalization of their starter checks. This means that financial institutions may experience an increase in non-interest revenue if they charge a fee for this service.
In addition to increased incremental fee revenue, printing personalized starter checks for new account holders has many other advantages, including:
- Presenting consumers with the option for customization
- Reducing the risk of check fraud by eliminating pre-printed checks
- Providing a better customer experience by eliminating the wait time for personalized checks
Source Technologies’ On-Demand Check Printing Software
Using on-demand check printing to offer customized starter checks to new account holders can benefit your branch in a variety of ways.
You’re able to increase revenue by offering this service as a premium to account holders. Additionally, you’ll help to reduce fraud and provide consumers with an extra level of confidence in your institution since they’ll know their starter checks won’t be delayed or rejected.
That said, in order to produce starter checks faster and with more credible personalization features, you’ll need a robust on-demand check printing software platform.
Source Technologies’ check printing software allows you to simplify the user experience within your branch and relieves headaches caused by the lack of information on basic starter checks. Our software can assist you with starter checks, counter checks, and certified official checks and allows you to include personalization features such as name, address, and a more realistic check number.
Learn more about Source Technologies’ check printing software and check printers to boost revenue and provide your customers with a better experience.
This article was originally published on July 19, 2017, and was updated on March 14, 2023, for context and clarity.
About Source Technologies
Source Technologies is a leading financial services company located in Charlotte, North Carolina, with over 35 years of experience in manufacturing, software development, and software integration. Their main objective is to enable financial institutions to increase their efficiency, security, and customer-centricity by integrating payment solutions that are tailored to the unique needs of each organization.
Through the use of innovative hardware, software, and self-service solutions, Source Technologies offers secure and efficient financial transaction services. They offer MICR printers that incorporate advanced security features, enabling the printing of checks and other negotiable documents with complete confidence. Moreover, they provide software solutions that allow for remote check printing while maintaining centralized control over the entire process, guaranteeing accuracy and safety.