How to Print Checks in QuickBooks Online

Printing checks in QuickBooks Online is easier than you may think! Find out why you should be writing and printing your checks on QuickBooks and step-by-step instructions below.

Requirements to Print Checks in QuickBooks Online

Before you get started, it’s important that you meet all of the requirements of printing a check in QuickBooks Online. They are:

  • Google Chrome or Firefox Browser
  • Adobe PDF Reader
  • An active QuickBooks Online Account

Why Should I Write and Print Checks in QuickBooks?

As a general rule to follow, business owners should write and print checks in QuickBooks when payment is due immediately. This will help avoid any mistakes in your QuickBooks file.

There are a couple of advantages to creating and printing checks in QuickBooks Online (compared to manually writing your checks). One of the biggest benefits is that this will help save you time. Writing and printing checks in QuickBooks will skip the step of manually entering the check later into the system. This is especially helpful when it is time to reconcile your checking account with the bank statement. Another advantage is that your QuickBooks file is always up-to-date with the most recent expenses you have paid. While this may seem small, life as a business owner often means wearing many different hats. It could be days that go by before you have time to update your QuickBooks file with your written checks.

Printing Checks in QuickBooks Online

To print a check in QuickBooks Online:

  • The first thing you need to do is navigate to the left-hand side of your screen and click on the ‘Expenses’ option in the drop down navigation.
  • From there, you will click on the button that reads ‘Print Checks’ on the right hand side of your screen.
  • You can also reach this screen by clicking the ‘+’ sign on the top right of your screen, and then choosing the ‘Print Checks’ option that is found under the Vendors section.

Printing Checks in QuickBooks Online for the First Time

If this is your first time printing a check in QuickBooks, you are going to need to align your paper to make sure that everything comes out correctly. To do this:

  • Select the type of check that you want to print (either Standard or Voucher Style). You will be printing a sample to ensure everything prints properly.
  • Next, you will need to load blank paper into your printer for the test run. Once the paper is loaded, click view preview and print sample.
  • QuickBooks will show you a screen that includes a sample page of the content that will print on your checks.
  • If you are okay with the preview, click ‘Print’ at the bottom of the screen.
  • Once your sample has printed, take it and hold it up in front of a light. Place a blank check on top of it to see if the numbers on your sample align with the amount boxes on your checks.

What To Do if Your Sample Check Does Not Print Out Correctly in QuickBooks

It’s important to note that if the numbers do not align with the boxes, it’s okay! Many printers do not align perfectly on the first try. To fix this issue:

  • Go back to the ‘Print Checks’ setup module.
  • At the bottom of the screen you will see “Are the fields lined up properly?” Choose the option that reads “No, continue setup.”
  • You may need to update your Adobe PDF Reader. This is free, and QuickBooks will give you a link to click the latest version.

If you Adobe PDF Reader isn’t the issue, you’re going to need to fine-tune your printing. To do this:

  • Drag and drop the amount grid to match the spot where the misaligned numbers are printing on your sample checks. Be sure that you are placing the grid where the amount is appearing on your sample, and not where you want them to appear.
  • Print out another sample and see if the issue has been corrected.

No matter what version of QuickBooks Online you have, following these simple and easy steps to printing checks can help keep your file up to date and save you time in the long run.

Signatures No Longer Required for EMV Cards

Gone are the days of signing your name at checkout! As of April, MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express no longer require merchants who are EMV compliant to collect and store signatures for POS transactions where a card is present. This decision moves away from a decades old ritual of using a signature as a form of authentication, and may be a sign of more changes to the credit card processing industry as technology develops.

What is EMV?

Named for the initials of its original developers (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa), EMV technology adds a stronger layer of security during credit and debit card transactions compared to traditional magnetic stripe cards. EMV-enabled cards feature a cryptogram, which validates the authenticity of the card. The cryptogram ensures that only the party that is supposed to receive the information (for example, the bank) has the key to decode the card.

The chip and the card reader ‘talk’ back and forth to authenticate the transaction. Magnetic stripe cards, on the other hand, simply ‘tell’ the card number and expiration date to the card reader. This is why data from magnetic cards can easily be stolen. Chip cards generate a unique code with every transaction, so even if someone were to obtain the authentication code, it would not work on future transactions.

With its use among merchants and banks in over 80 countries, EMV cards are seen as the global standard for both credit and debit card payments.

Do All Businesses Need to Stop Collecting Signatures?

While it is no longer a requirement for some merchants, it’s important to point out that others may need to still collect signatures. First, this new rule only applies to EMV transactions only. Merchants who currently do not accept EMV cards and other non-EMV transactions (like many restaurants) are still required to collect signatures.

In addition, merchants still have the option to request for a signature if they choose to do so. Payment companies, like Square, have no immediate plans to update their system to skip the signature step, so merchants who use Square and other similar payment companies may need to continue to collect signatures.

History of the Credit Card Industry

The end of requiring signatures is a huge change to the credit card industry as it has been a requirement since the industry was first founded. Since 1958, when BankAmericard rolled out its first credit card network with merchants, signatures were required in some way. Back in the days of plastic cards and carbon-copy receipts, merchants were required to verify a customer’s signature to the one on the back of the card.

As time went on, merchants stopped verifying signatures as often in hopes to speed up the checkout lines. While some merchants would ask to check the cardholder’s name against an ID, many others felt it was worth assuming the liability of chargebacks, as not checking the signatures made the purchase process more time efficient.

Reasoning Behind Changing How We Authenticate Payments

One of the biggest reasons for this switch is that advanced technologies are better at detecting fraud than relying on signatures. Advancements like machine-learning algorithms, which allow card networks to better detect fraud, and EMV cards, which are difficult to counterfeit, seem to do a better job at protecting against fraud than the old signature standard. According to a blog post on Visa’s website, Dan Sanford, the Vice President of Consumer Products, writes, “We believe making the signature requirement optional for EMV chip-enabled merchants is the responsible next step to enhance security and convenience at the point of sale.”

Another cause of this major change is the natural shift towards digitalization. Merchants and credit card companies had to find new ways to protect their customers against fraud that can be done online, like tokenization and biometrics, which further makes signatures obsolete. According to Total System Services’ (TSYS) 2017 US Consumer Payment Study, of consumers who use a banking or payment app, 69% were comfortable authenticating by passcode, with 63% comfortable using a fingerprint.

In addition to security purposes, major credit card companies believe that no longer making signatures a requirement will help more merchants switch over to accepting chip cards. According to research by Visa, as of December, there were roughly 460 million EMV cards and 2.5 million physical merchant locations that accepted chip cards. This new benefit to accepting chip-enabled cards is another reminder to get on board with the changing times. Especially because the initial switch to EMV compliant technology can be costly, this new incentive may help sway merchants who were reluctant to change.

Another reason for this major switch is competition. One of signature debit’s main competitors are EFT networks, which more times than not offers lower merchant fees. In recent years, EFT networks like NYCE and Pulse and Star have instituted ‘PINless debit,’ which no longer required customers to enter their four-digit PIN code. This PINless debit system offers a cheaper and faster transaction alternative (all with lower fraud rates) to merchants.

Many Large Retailers are on Board with this Change

Many retailers, including Walmart and Target, welcome this change. Austen Jensen, Vice President for Government Affairs at the Retail Industry Leaders Association, says that retailers have long argued that signatures are a costly way of securing transactions. This is because retailers have to store all of the signatures collected and present them back to the issuer, and needs to be done as safely as possible. Eliminating this step can potentially help consumers save money, as retailers can save on securely storing the signatures, which may result in lowering their prices.

In addition, many large retailers who experience long lines at checkout will be likely to stop asking for signatures, as many believe this will help speed up the checkout process.

As an industry leader, Payment Collect® was the first to offer EMV integration into QuickBooks Point of Sale, equipping merchants with the reporting tools they need to improve their business. These powerful tools give merchants quick and accurate authorization tracking, as well as eliminating guesswork if IT or network problems are encountered during processing. For more information about our payment processing technology, please visit our FAQ page!

Plug-In Product for QuickBooks® Online Released

PaymentCollect® is proud to announce the launch of its new plug-in product for QuickBooks® Online.  This fully integrated product allows merchants to take advantage of all of the great features included in QuickBooks’ newest product without losing anything they love about working with PaymentCollect®: exceptional software, excellent customer support and the smoothest onboarding process in the industry.  Most importantly, it allows merchants to use multiple payment processors, allowing for the best combination of software and savings.

“QuickBooks’ Online product offers so many great features for retail merchants.  Creating a fully featured plug-in was not easy but it was worth it.  We took our time to get it right and could not be more pleased.  And feedback from our customers has been incredibly positive,” said Philip Holan, CEO.

Some of the features offered by our QuickBooks® Online plugin that customers are especially excited about include the ability to use it as a Point of Sale, accepting Card Present transactions, including Debit and EMV (chip cards), split tendering, recurrent billing, emailing invoices out to have customers pay online and storing Credit Cards.  Additionally, working with the online product means that customers can have access to their transaction information from anywhere.

About PaymentCollect®

Founded in 2010 due to an overwhelming demand from the QuickBooks market for better payment processing options, PaymentCollect®  provides savvy merchants with best in class integration to QuickBooks POS and Financial Products, matching and improving on the existing payment processing experience with a real time embedded plug-in solution and allowing merchants the flexibility to choose preferred payment processors.  Merchants report PaymentCollect®’s solution as the easiest and most reliable QuickBooks plug-in, as evidenced in a 20 minute setup, installation and training of extremely satisfied merchants.

PaymentCollect® is just one of several merchant-focused companies founded by its CEO, Philip Holan.  Nearly 20 years ago Mr. Holan co-founded Datatel, an internationally recognized IVR (interactive voice response) provider that is best in class for providing both hosted and managed telephone payment and electronic voting services in the internet telephony market.  Both PaymentCollect® and Datatel offer premium services for the savvy user.

EMV Compliance Explained

While EMV compliance has been around for quite some time, there still tends to be a lot of confusion around the subject. What is EMV compliance, and how can you as a merchant ensure your business is EMV complaint? Find all of your answers below!

What is EMV Compliance?

Have you ever wondered what caused the switch to go from sliding your credit card to inserting it into the terminal? The EMV, short for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, is behind that. They are the three companies who established the computer chip technology to help combat against credit card fraud. In addition to the traditional magnetic stripe, EMV credit cards now also feature smart chips and are seen as the new industry standard around the world.

Why are EMV Cards More Secure than Traditional Cards?

Cards that only have a magnetic stripe are at a higher risk for fraud because the stripe contains unchanging data. If someone copies the stripe, he or she can easily replicate the data because it doesn’t ever change.

However, when a credit card with an EMV chip is used to make a payment, the chip creates a unique transaction code that cannot be used again. So even if a hacker was able to steal the chip’s information from one specific sale, card duplication will not work because the stolen transaction number expires after one purchase. The card would ultimately get denied. It’s important to note that while this technology makes it more difficult for criminals, it will not completely prevent data breaches from occurring.

The Importance of EMV Compliance for Small Business Owners

EMV compliance rules officially went into effect in October 2015, but they are not a legal matter. So while you cannot be arrested for non-compliance, there are some costly risks associated with not following the rules. If your business is still processing credit cards with the magnetic stripe, it will be held automatically responsible for any fraudulent charges made with a chip card.

For example, if a customer comes in and completes a $500 transaction with a chip card and you use the card’s magnetic stripe to ring them up, that customer can potentially dispute the change. And because you are a non-compliant merchant, you would have no legal recourse.

EMV compliance protects your small business from liability. It doesn’t matter if some of your customers are still using cards that only have a magnetic stripe, as long as you are EMV compliant, you will not be liable. This includes both chip transactions and swipe transactions.

How to Become EMV Complaint

So what does this new technology mean for your business? The first step is to upgrade your POS systems to ensure compliance. The new terminals feature the option to insert the card at the bottom, while still offering the swipe feature for customers who do not have EMV credit cards.

The next step is to look into the EMV Value Added Reseller Qualification Program. This is a certification that was developed by the PCI Security Standards Council and the Payments Security Task Force for VARs. During this process, an EMV terminal and toolkit are used. Special test scripts will be executed with the help from the EMV toolkit. The results are submitted to the acquirer who then forwards the results to the associations for final approval.

EMV certification typically includes an administrative fee that ranges between $2,000 and $3,000 for every formal test script run. Re-certification is required every time a new hardware device, using a different EMV kernel is added to the previously certified EMV-processing pad. For example, if you have a specific type of device that has been previously certified, any other device of that kind is automatically covered. But if you use a different type of device, your business will need to initiate another EMV certification, even if you are utilizing the existing host integration and back end.

Challenges to Becoming EMV Compliant

One of the main reasons why businesses have yet to become EMV compliant is how much it costs, especially for retail or other businesses with multiple locations. But what many of these business owners do not understand is that the liability switch leaves them at a higher risk for having to pay fraudulent charges.

Another challenge is getting the appropriate certifications in a timely fashion. Many software providers underestimated the complexity and time of getting certifications completed. This means that even if merchants have their new terminals setup and ready to go, if they are waiting to be certified, they can be held accountable for any fraud that occurs with chip cards.

Benefits of Being a EMV Compliant Business

The biggest payoff is fraud reduction. While the level of success is suggestive, MasterCard has reported that fraud has decreased by 60%, in terms of dollars among its top five EMV-compliant merchants. Reducing the risk of fraud helps your business save money on credit card processing fees. But saving money isn’t the only benefit.

New EMV-compliant terminals offer add-ons that customers are starting to become more accustomed to, like Apple Pay and Android Pay. While it is unlikely for any other form of payment will surpass cards anytime soon, the payments mix is becoming more complicated. With more users looking for alternative payment options, being EMV compliant provides a better customer experience. In addition, the new technology makes it easier to integrate systems into legacy POS.

Moving Forward

If your business hasn’t upgraded to EMV technology yet, it is strongly advised you do so. While these upgrades can be expensive, merchants risk facing a much greater cost if they get stuck with bills for credit card fraud.

EMV compliance has helped significantly reduce card-present fraud. But it does not protect consumers from all data breaches. Liability for fraud on a non-chip card remains with the banks. In addition, card-not-present fraud (online or phone purchases) is on the rise. Regardless of what new challenges may be on the horizon, it’s important to make the switch to EMV technology. This worldwide standard is shaping the future of payment processing, and we will continue to see development of contactless technologies to help reduce fraudulent activity.