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How does Check 21 affect me and my business?

The "Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act" (better known as Check 21) was established in October 2004 to modernize the U.S. payments system by streamlining the way your checks are processed. The main objective of Check 21 is to speed up check-clearing time and eliminate the costs and risks of physically transporting checks.

Check 21 allows financial institutions to create and present a substitute check for payment in place of the original check. This new substitute check is an electronic copy of the front and back of your original check that can be printed for you at any time. It provides the legal equivalent of your original check.

Check 21 changes you may notice

  • The time between writing a check and when it's cashed generally decreases. That is, checks clear your account faster than they used to do.

  • Many financial institutions no longer retain and return your original checks. However, substitute checks are always available in printed format for you from your financial institution.

  • Your financial institution may charge fees for checks that are not Check 21 compatible.

  • Text for the check dollar amount is preset by QuickBooks to Arial 10 point font, black, and can't be changed (per Check 21 guidelines).

    Note: You have the option to use other fonts for all other text on your printed check, but you cannot use colors.

  • There are additional impacts for Check 21 wallet checks.

Intuit checks are guaranteed

As Check 21 changes continue to evolve, Intuit monitors industry developments and updates QuickBooks and the checking products supplied to individuals and businesses.

Intuit's guarantee: If you purchase your checks from Intuit, we will continue to protect you with our money-back guarantee that our checks will be accepted by every financial institution in the U.S.

Note: Intuit doesn't guarantee that Traditional wallet checks purchased after August 1, 2005 are Check 21 compatible.

Learn more about Go online Check 21.

See also

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