Our Blog

New Business Checks Requirments

New Business Checks Requirments

6 minute read

Listen to article
Audio is generated by DropInBlog's Blog Voice AI and may have slight pronunciation nuances. Learn more

Business Checks has a new compliance. There's a lot of places to order business checks. Blank Business Checks or Imprinted Business Checks. There is something new that not everyone knows about. When ordering any checks. Make sure you ask if they are in compliance with the new ANSI standards. 

Have you recently ordered blank business checks or imprinted business checks for quickbooks? Did you notice that when you're printing the check, the MEMO line is printed right on or below the pantograph (style of check, like marble, or lattice)?

It's not quickbooks fault that it's printing on or below the line. Here's the reason. ANSI. (AMERICAN NATIONAL STANDARDS INSTITUTE) has new requirements for all banks. The MICR line is placed in an area called “clear band”. This clear band has a
minimum height of 5/8" from the bottom edge (called aligning edge) and runs across the check. The clear band should be free of any magnetic ink other than of the E-13B font. 

ANSI X9 Compliance
What is ANSI X9? It is the American National Standards Institute that is responsible for developing standards
for the financial services industry.

Why are checks changing? Banks are now using OCR (Optical character recognition) to process checks. The
OCR readers need to be able to process checks accurately and quickly for deposit or cashing. This requires the
checks to have a clear area where the routing and account numbers are printed, free from images,
pantographs, borders etc. Checks that do not meet the clear area may have to be processed manually,
creating additional costs for the bank and delay processing. Some banks may require checks to be reprinted
to meet required guidelines.

When did this change take affect. It took affect back in 2021, but its becoming more common and a push to new checks to be compliant as it takes time to get this change for everyone.

What if I like my checks the way they are? Eventually all our standard checks will be changed to remove pantographs that fall into the clear area and the bottom and side borders to meet guidelines. If you want a check that does not meet the ANSI X9 requirements we may be able to process the order as custom (may incur additional charges). However, you will be responsible if bank declines the checks.

ANSI Compliant

So when you're printing your check with quickbooks, your memo line prints into the white area. That's why, BUT it's perfectly ok. 
Quickbooks will have to fix this issue with their software/update to fix this. They will only do it if it's a federal mandate for this. But for now. It may look off, but its ok. 

Why did they do this? It's to prevent the check from being rejected when the check is being processed. If it's not done correctly, there is a possibility that your bank may reject the check, that will cause you problems.

Is there a solution to this problem? YES, actually there is an easy solution. IF you're ordering blank business checks. You can request a sample, to make sure it will work for you first. Second, you can order blank checks that has a LONG border (pantograph). This way, the pattern/pantograph will cover the MICR line that is still in compliance with the new ANSI rules.

When your ordering imprinted with business checks for quickbooks. Especially custom checks. You can ask for a long pantograph. Most of the time, it will be done anyway to make the check look more professional and you wont have to worry about the MEMO line printing below the pantograph. There's so many companies that don't know this new ANSI rule and it's a good possibility that it could affect your business checks. 

So a company that follows the check imprinting rules, will make sure you have the best quality, and the checks will be imprinted correctly. Making sure that your business checks clear the banks is always important, but we make sure that it's accurate. 

ANSI rules also apply to the pantograph of your business check. It must be a certain percentage darkness so when its scanned/copied, that it won't be too dark to their restrictions. Plus is always recommended when you're printing, or ordering business checks. That MICR toner and E-13B font is used for the MICR line. If you print using regular inkjet or regular toner. The check isnt able to be scanned, and could be rejected.

For those that print their own business checks. They know you must use a special font, and toner to make the checks work for their business. Plus they have to have a special printer that will accept the MICR toner as well. 

This issue with the MEMO line shows up mainly with Quickbooks format vs the other formats. So overall. Nothing to worry about. Just order long (pantographs) for your blank checks, and we’ll make sure your imprinted checks have a long border. 

We take pride in our work and we will communicate with you about this with any new orders that are placed with us. 

When ordering imprinted business checks. You can ask for a proof, to make sure it looks the way you want it. BUT keep in mind that the proof will not be to exact size, as it will be converted to a PDF. The borders of the PDF will be off by ½” on all margins. But when you do receive the checks, it will be perfect. 

Always provide what accounting program your using when ordering. This way, the company will be able to match your template, and you’ll have the correct order. Order more than you need, because the more you order, the cheaper it is per check. Dont forget your deposit slips as well.

The new ANSI compliance does not apply to deposit slips or tickets. They are imprinted with MICR toner on the blank sheet, but will still be in compliance with your bank. 

Also when your ordering your new checks. Take a look at the security features you may need. The higher security you get on the checks, the more security you will have for the business and less fraud. 

« Back to Blog