Laser Check Printing – Blank or Pre-Printed Stock?

Andrew Daniel

Andrew Daniel

No matter which way you look at it, there is no way around printing checks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t simplify the process. Below we address the Pro’s and Con’s of Blank Check Stock and Pre-Printed Check Stock.

Blank Check Stock
Looking to save money and have the freedom to layout the content of your checks however you want? This is your best option. Blank check stock provides you with the flexibility to place content as you want (aside from the routing number which is standard). Add a logo, change signature line details, the sky is the limit.

A less expensive option (normally about 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of pre-printed stock), blank check stock removes the worry of voiding check numbers in the event of a printer jam or poor print job – simply reprint the check. Blank check stock also allows you to use the same stock for multiple or all banking accounts. You can reduce the volume of check stock ordered and remove the risk of expired, ‘stale stock’ situations. Just think – money saved!

Blank check stock also comes with far less security risk. As the name states, blank stock is blank – no pre-printed sensitive account numbers or banking information prevents forged checks. However, since the bank routing information isn’t pre-printed, you will need MICR toner for printing. While MICR tone does cost more than traditional toner, it lasts longer and the cost is negligible when compared to the cost savings per check.

Lastly with blank stock being standardized, it’s quick and painless to re-order, with little to no lead time required. This eliminates the need to order massive quantities at once, removing the concern of “stale stock,” where pressure seal forms sit in storage for so long the glue dries out.

Pre-Printed Check Stock
Feel better knowing your checks have routing information and check numbers there and ready to go? Then pre-printed check stock is the way to go, but it comes at a price. While pre-printed checks can use standard toner, pre-printed check stock is always a high-cost custom order with minimum quantity requirements. Custom orders generally have a few days (or even weeks) lead time, posing an issue if you need additional checks immediately.

You could find yourself running through check stock faster as well with pre-printed stock, as printer jams or poor print jobs result in voided checks, ultimately incurring higher costs and more custom orders. And then there’s the time spent going back to your accounting system to enter the new check number.

Pre-printed checks also run a higher security risk. The potential for check fraud is significantly higher as banking information is pre-printed and unused stock should be locked away when not in use.

The amount of stock in lock up could become overwhelming with pre-printed check stock if you have multiple bank accounts. Depending how frequently you print checks from these different accounts, you could end up with “stale stock” pressure seal forms, where the glue has dried out preventing it from sealing properly.