The other day a person used not one but two personal cheques to purchase $1,200 worth of groceries and the cheques bounced. Because of this, we have changed our policy – No Personal Cheques will be Accepted.
Over the years, the way people pay for purchase things has changed. When we first opened our business most of our sale transactions were done with cash and we would have maybe 5 cheques a week. Nowadays, we get maybe 5 personal cheques a year. About 85% of payments are done through credit cards and debit cards.
Back in the early nineties, there was a lot more credit card fraud and we would have to phone the credit card company for ‘authorization’ for any transaction over a certain amount – I think it was 50 or 100$. The credit card company could refuse the charge if it was found out to be a fraudulent transaction at a later date. With the new credit card/debit terminals, the funds are confirmed each time and the funds deposited the next day to our account. Safer for everyone
Businesses tend to like electronic funds since they are trackable, funds flow through easily, less handling of physical money, and less of a target of people want to hold you up to steal cash. I like cash because it is less expensive for everyone and it allows the transaction to be invisible and not part of BIG DATA.
Personal cheques are quite rare and most staff are too young to be familiar with them. I failed in the training of our staff how to handle personal cheques. What to keep an eye out for and what information to gather.
Cheques are like a promissory note. The funds are in transit but the business doesn’t get the funds until the actual cheque moves through the system and is vouched for by the issuing bank.
This has been the second time this year that we have been targeted by fraud. The first was a scam by someone that would steal a product and return it for credit – thus getting the money. They did this several times and it was only through the diligence of one of the staff that this pattern was caught.
Twelve hundred dollars is a LOT of money to lose for a small independent company like ours so, unfortunately, we are going to implement the No Personal Cheque policy to insulate us from future fraudulent activities.
No Personal Cheques will be Accepted
We will no longer accept personal cheques and only those cheques from companies that we presently deal with or personally approved by Michael on a case by case basis.
When I was at the bank, the teller asked me about how I was feeling about this incident. I said sad people have to do things like this but that this was on their karma and not mine.