In order for your business to operate smoothly, you will need to develop an advanced payment processing system. Without the ability to efficiently—and accurately—process your payments, your business will eventually begin to experience cash flow issues.

Fortunately, setting up a quality payment processing system is something that is easy to do. Even after all costs have been paid, these systems will have a positive impact on your bottom line. Working with an experienced check writing service can help you easily find a specific payment system that works for you.

Once your business has made the decision to create a professional payment processing system, you will then need to choose the specific firm you hope to partner with. While many of these companies operate using the same principles and check writing software, there are still quite a few factors that make each of them unique.

In this article, we will discuss some of the most important things to look for when comparing check writing services. By taking the time to compare your options and make sure that each of your specific needs are met, you will be able to find a company that can help you outsource your payment functions easily and efficiently.

  1. Easy to Use Payment Portals

If you want your checking systems to be efficient, you will need to have an online payment portal that is easy to use. Not only should using these self service portals be intuitive, but the company helping you set them up should also offer ongoing (preferably 24 hour) assistance. Watching tutorials of how to use software and portals before making any commitments will help you make sure that an investment in a check printing service will be worthwhile.

  1. Adaptable Payment Options

Naturally, any payment processing system you use should be able to adapt to changes in the future. Having flexible payment options will help your business enhance both your accounts payable and your accounts receivable.

  • Past deadline payments: while you obviously want to make all payments on time, last minute payments are a need for some businesses. Having a portal that offers same day mailing and payment processing can be the difference between a happy vendor and a bad review.
  • Future dated checks: on the other hand, you may want to set up checks for future payments that will not be processed until later. Make sure the payment portal offers the option for future dated checking.

Being able to directly control your payment timeline will help your business better manage it’s cash flow. 

  1. Customizable Notifications

With active notifications, your business will be able to immediately respond to any changes in your accounts. At a minimum, you will want to be notified whenever a check has been received and whenever one of your checks (your accounts payable) has actually been processed. Keeping your notifications turned on will provide your business with the up to date information it needs to make key financial decisions.

  1. Check Printing and Mailing

There is no doubt that a significant portion of the check writing industry has been shifted online. However, there are still plenty of occasions where your business will need to print and mail tangible, paper checks. Working with a firm that offers both online paperless and paper check issuing will give your business more flexibility over time. You will also have access to a reliable backup system, when needed.

  1. Active Check Tracking

If your business has issued any paper checks, you will want to be able to know when the checks can be expected to arrive at their final destination. This will help improve any communications you have with suppliers and even your employees. The best check printing services will make it easy for you to see whether a specific check has been delivered and—if it hasn’t yet reached its target location—when the check can be expected to arrive.

  1. Address Cleansing Services

Address cleansing is an incredibly useful service that many check printing firms now offer. Address cleansing makes it possible for your business to update its address books and confirm that each of the addresses are actually correct. The process of address cleansing can be broken down into three basic steps.

  • Step One: Parsing. This step involves breaking down every address into its individual components (street, zip code, city name, etc.)
  • Step Two: During this step, each “parsed” component of the address will be converted into the USPS’s standardized form.
  • Step Three: Each of your addresses will be compared against a master database, in order to confirm they are actually correct.

Anyone who hopes for a check to be printed and delivered on time will inevitably need to make sure their addresses are up to date.

  1. Closed Loop Reporting

Closed loop reporting makes it possible to get financial reports that are accurate, complete, and also secure. In order for closed loop reporting to be effective, there will need to be active communications between the check writing service and your business’ bank. This will also make it easier to identify any potential errors or other checking-related issues.

  1. Positive Pay

Positive pay is a simple, yet important security feature that helps actively combat check fraud. After setting up a positive pay system—which may take about a month—all potentially fraudulent checks will be sent back and scrutinized before they are cashed. By installing proactive security measures such as positive pay, your business can avoid future sources of conflict. 

  1. Monitoring for Duplicate Payments

One common issue with check writing is—due to your business’ complex operations—you may occasionally issue duplicate checks. If the duplicate check has already been cashed, undoing this mistake can be quite difficult or sometimes even impossible. The best payment processing systems will have mechanisms in place to identify obvious duplicates. Not only will this help protect your business’ current finances, it will also help you avoid some potentially awkward conversations with suppliers.

  1. Excellent Customer Service

As is the case with any operating component your business is considering outsourcing, quality customer service will be incredibly valuable. Speaking with a representative directly, visiting the firm’s website, and reading past client reviews can help you know if a prospective firm is one you’ll want to work with. Before making a call and conducting an informal interview with a check writing service, consider making a list of any of the questions you may currently have. These firms will also help walk you through each of their specific payment processes.


Making the decision to outsource your check writing duties can help your business save time, avoid mistakes, and ultimately increase its value. But with many firms available to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to begin your search for a check writing partner. By using this helpful list of check writing “must haves”, you will be able to easily recognize which options are most compatible with your business.

Want more information about check printing or outsourced payment processing? Contact SmartPayables at, or call (720) 287-0030.

Founded in 2005, Smart Payables offers a full range of accounts payable payment solutions including outsourced check printing and mailing, document and statement printing and mailing, ACH direct deposits + more. Our highly experienced software developers and intelligent printing teams specialize in secure, enterprise-grade payment options that are HIPAA, SOC 1 Type 2, and ISO compliant. Our mission is to help businesses and large organizations implement secure, innovative technology that will reduce overhead and improve business operations and capabilities.

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