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Karen Salamone

Check Writers: 4 Ways to Show Them the Love

Checks enjoy continued relevance to your financial institution and account holders.

July 6, 2018

Pick one. The figure 18 billion represents:

  • The number of hamburgers McDonald’s® sold last year.
  • The number of coffee drinks Starbucks® sold last year.
  • The number of checks written last year.

I’m sure you know where I’m going with this, but the correct answer is “C.” Not only are checks important to account holders, check writers are critical to financial institutions’ bottom line.

It’s time financial institutions show both consumers and checks some love. Here’s why:

• Checks are a key engagement tool. A study by Javelin Strategy & Research confirms that checks are an important payment vehicle for most account holders and an essential way they connect with their financial institution.

The average value of a check is 10 times the average debit card transaction—proof that account holders entrust their largest payments to checks.

• Check writers are loyal. Forty-one percent of check writers have been with their financial institution for 10 or more years, according to Javelin. That’s a lifetime of value that should make any financial institution sit up and take notice.

• Check writers are high-value. Check writers acquire twice as many products and services from their primary financial institution than non-check users. They also have more assets.

In addition, an account holder’s affluence is more highly correlated to check writing than to age: As income increases, so does check utilization.

• Investments made in mobile deposit capture have boosted the viability and profitability of checks. Thanks to advances in technology, depositing checks has never been easier, more convenient, or more secure than it is today.

Take advantage of this shift—embrace checks.

Now that you know why checks and check writers deserve more of your attention, below are four ways you can give it to them.

1. Capture the first check order

Financial institutions that fail to get the first check order risk missing out on future revenue from cross-sell, up-sell and fee income opportunities from check writers.

What’s more, account holders want checks, so carry through with your commitment to customer service. Give them what they want.

2. Shift account holders to self-serve options

After their first order, encourage account holders to place reorders via self-service channels.

This offers convenience, prevents errors, and delivers a better customer experience.

3. Promote remote deposit capture (RDC) security

Account holders prefer RDC once they’re accustomed to it, so make sure yours are aware of the technology and comfortable using it.

Consider providing incentives to help them discover how easy it is and get over any initial hesitancy they may have.

4. Utilize a unique marketing tool

Your check packaging is capable of doing so much more than delivering checks, so let it do double—or even triple—duty for you.

In addition, as a powerful marketing tool, Custom CheckFolio™ lets financial institutions of any size promote their brand and brand message to check writers repeatedly over the lifetime of their check usage.

Checks enjoy continued relevance to your financial institution and account holders.

Don’t miss opportunities to grow revenue and deliver outstanding customer service.

Instead, spread the love: Promote, sell, and utilize checks to reach your most valuable account holders.

KAREN SALAMONE is vice president of marketing, Go to Market, for Harland Clarke.