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Ecommerce Forum

Accepting checks?
Is it worthwhile to have check acceptance capability in your webstore

 7:14 pm on Sep 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi - I wanted feedback on how many storeowners that have an ecommerce based website running accept checks? Is there a large market or small (but significant) number of buyers out there that would ONLY pay by check? Any experiences shared would be welcomed.



 7:35 pm on Sep 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

We have many corporate customers and for some, this is the only way they will pay. We probably get a few percent who pay by check. They also tend to be the larger orders, so it's probably more than 5% of revenue.


 7:58 pm on Sep 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

I get a few checks and money orders, but it is maybe 5% of sales or less. In fact I just got one today. Usually they are for small things around $20 or so.


 8:10 pm on Sep 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have the same question. Verisign has this ACH service which will do a direct debit from your bank account, ie same premise as a check, you can make it look like a check, etc.

I've seen reports indicating an increase in the gross conversion rate by 2%. So if you were converting at 3%, you would now convert at 5%. This was from a Cybersource survey of several hundred medium/large retailers doing over $1m/yearly sales.

What have you guys seen in terms of an INCREASE due to checks or Paypal...I'd especially like to hear from those of you who started off with credit cards.

It would also be interesting to hear whether you feel these alternate payment methods are incremental sales you would have otherwise lost, or if they are 'replacements' of credit card sales.


 8:40 pm on Sep 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

I started out accepting only credit cards and added checks because of some of the research suggested it. It was bogus. I never so an increase in sales but the monthly fees were outrageous. Unless we toke in 10,000 dollars in check sales per month they charged me a penalty of like $300.00 but they didnít tell me that up front. It was buried in the fine print.

I ended up dropping it. I would consider it again if there wasnít a volume penalty. It only amounted to maybe 1% of our sales.

Moral of the story: read the fine print.


 8:56 pm on Sep 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

We offer check or money order by mail as an option for people who are afraid to buy with credit cards online. The public for this site vary from newbies to medium-knowledgable as internet users. Last month checks were about 10% of the revenue.


 9:04 pm on Sep 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

The company that I am with offers an ACH solution, we find that for Internet Commerce it usually amounts for about 10% of the transactions.


 3:45 am on Sep 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

We allow people to mail us checks or money orders. Response is trivial, maybe 1%-2% of sales. Orders are usually very small.


 9:30 am on Sep 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ive never received many cheques, plenty of promises but no cheques. I accept echecks which are a lot easier for customers and quicker for them to use.


 11:49 am on Sep 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

For France or French customers ..yes .!

The government and media here insists on telling everyone that all anglophone sites are dangerous credit card details stealing sin pits ...plus CC processors in a language that your customer can't understand are not inducive to inspiring confidence and therefore sales ...

and worldpay is not sensibly priced ..except in the eyes of worldpay ...

This said ..the interbank charges can be very high so I always advise that if customers want to pay by cheque that they email for the exact amount to be confirmed ..


 3:45 pm on Sep 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

So I gather that from the bulk of the replies, accepting checks should be entertained, they will probably be of low over sales percentage, and basically provides an alternative method for buyers to pay!

Thank you all for your valued input.



 5:41 pm on Sep 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

There's another recent discussion here [webmasterworld.com].


 1:07 am on Sep 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm a webdesigner and my husband is a computer consultant. We will ONLY send orders with payment snail mail or call them in. We never complete transactions online. What does that tell you?

Ignorance is bliss...


 2:46 am on Sep 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

If you are doing B2B, yes I could see an advantage by offering to pay by cheque.

For B2C, forget it. We offered electronic cheque payment, and it accounted for less than 0.5%. Get a few bad cheques, and it will wipe away any advantage. We got rid of it.

In addition to Credit Card, we offer paypal and Money Orders. Most people pay by credit card, and if they don't want to pay by credit card, then most likely they have bad credit, and their cheques are more likely to bounce. [I know their are exceptions, so don't flame me on this, if you are one of these peoplethat can happily manage their life without plastic.]

We do take credit card by phone, for those that don't like to give C/C info over the web. Money orders actually account for 2% of sales, c/c by phone 2% and paypal is virtually non-existent. However I hear that paypal works for some people. I guess it depends on the type of business you are in.

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