Banks use security features to deter fraud. The features vary with each bank. But here are examples of some of the commonly used features:

• You can usually find the padlock icon on the front and back. This signifies that the security features comply with industry standards.

• The letters MP indicate that the check contains Microprint. Where do you think the microprint is? The signature line is a common microprint line. It looks like a line, but when you magnify it, you’ll see it’s actually made up of superfine letters. This makes counterfeiting harder because microprint is practically impossible to reprint. In fact, if you were to try photocopy it, the line would just appear as small dots, not letters.

• You probably noticed this line has different symbols and a particular font. This is Magnetic Ink Character Recognition Line (MICR Line). Special readers can read magnetic ink, even if the line was covered by a signature or other markings.

Do you see these special symbols? These symbols are separators that tell the reader what each set of digits is. For example, this is the “Transit” symbol. This symbol always surrounds the bank’s routing number. The second symbol identifies your checking account number. The third set of numbers corresponds with your check number.

• Many checks are printed on chemically-sensitive paper. The paper reacts to chemical changes and produces a stain or spot.

• Many banks use a unique background pattern. If someone tries to photocopy a check, the colors in the copied version will appear distorted.

• Let’s examine the back of the check. The check should have the words “Original Document” on the back. Some banks use a security weave pattern that is made up of the words “Original Document”.

• The security features are always listed on the back of every check. Some checks come with higher security features. Continue reading

How to WRITE A CHECK | The Right Way to Write Dollars & Cents



In this digital age, less people are writing checks. Yet it is still needed at times. In this video, we’ll show you how to fill out a personal bank check.

1. First, write the date. You can write the current date. Or if you don’t want them to cash the check until a later date, then you can post-date it. The date format should be month, day, and then year.

2. Write the full name of the payee or recipient. This can be an individual’s first name and then last name, or it can be the name of an organization.

3. In the box, write numerically the amount you want to give. Don’t forget to write a comma for amounts over a thousand – and write a period between the dollars and the cents. This amount should not be more than the funds you have in your checking account. Otherwise when the recipient tries to deposit your check, the bank will not cash or deposit the check. And your bank may charge you a fee for insufficient funds. But you might wonder how you can prevent the recipient from adding an extra digit here …

4. Well on this line, we correctly spell out in words the amount that matches the numbers in the box. For any cents, write them as a fraction over one hundred. Then draw a horizontal line all the way across to the end. This prevents sneaky people from adding to the amount that you wrote.

5. The ‘memo’ line is optional. It’s usually helpful to write a note to remind you later what this check was for. (Man, I need to tell the kids to take shorter baths.)

6. Lastly, sign the check. A check is considered a legal document. Your signature authorizes the bank to pull these funds from your bank account. In fact, without a signature, a bank will not allow the recipient to deposit the check. Continue reading