Check Cashing in the simplest of terms refers to the process of getting your check cashed quickly and easily by paying a certain amount of fixed amount at specific check cashing stores that help you with the cashing process.
While it began with the mere purpose to help everyone get their checks cashed in no time, it now offers numerous financial services to the customers now. If you are familiar with the process of receiving checks, you would know how difficult it becomes several times when you are in an urgent need of money and your pay-check or any other check needs to be cashed.
In such cases, the banks might not be of great help to you because it usually takes a few days to clear the process, but in the case of check cashing, the procedure is instant and easy and it happens right in front of you, within a few minutes.
Check Cashing Services Stores
Today, when we talk about check cashing stores, a lot of services offered by time are quite similar to that of the traditional banks. Other than check cashing, financial services like money orders, short term loans, notary services, bill payments, currency exchange, mail services, prepaid credit and debit cards, public transport passes, etc have also become a part of the check cashing stores.
Thus, in one way it has made financial transactions much simpler, quicker and convenient by not just improving the service but by also offering a number of services altogether. Amongst the list of services mentioned above, whether a check cashing store provides these services depends and varies from store to store, business to business and location to location. Thus before you visit any of the stores, make sure you check whether the store has the service you want help with.
You might be wondering how one can know about the different services offered by a store and how much it would cost you. But check cashing stores are customer friendly and everything over there is quite easy.
You don’t need to go around asking details about the different services, rather each store has a complete list of the services they offer that is either displayed in the store itself or printed in the form of a menu card. Not only does the list have names of the services, but also the necessary details under each of them are clearly mentioned (included the fees and rates of each service).
The services offered are different and while most of them are in the dollar amounts, the check cashing service has a percentage of fees mentioned under it which is the percent of amount that will be charged on the total amount you want to get cashed. For example, if you wish to get $100 cashed, there can be a 1% service fee mentioned under it which will cost you a fee of $10.
After getting to know about what check cashing stores offer, it is also important for you to know what they do not have as a part of their service in order to be able to know whether a check cashing store is the banking alternative for you or not. What is not a part of these stores is the availability of check system and savings account. You cannot get your money held in these stores with a saving account which will keep your money. It will also not allow you to write checks to any accounts under its name.
Talking about the comparison between the two, it can be said that all the services available in the banks are also offered by check-cashing stores, however the latter does not require gaining the trust of the customer and all the processes take place on the basis of merely fees that are pre-decided and do not vary.
But in terms of banks, there is a basis of trust that the bank extends to its customers and the fees charged in banks are often unclear and decided after certain limits.
The best way to experience the difference between the two is by taking a check to both of these financial institutions and seeing how the entire process takes place.
As mentioned earlier, in a check cashing store: when you take your check to get it cashed, you’ll see a complete list of the fees and process. If you plan to get $1000 cashed, there will be a fixed amount of fee mentioned, let us assume 2%.
Thus, out of the $1000, you will get a total of $980 and $20 will be charged for the service. The employees do not directly hand over the cash to you, they first verify your check, its source and your identity. After having done that, the cash is directly given to you within a few minutes. There are no further arrangements required in the process and you get your cash in no time.
In the case of bank, to get your check cashed: you need to visit the bank and over there, there is no list of pre-decided fees mentioned anywhere around. You take your $1000 check to the counter and the cashing process does not happen at the very next moment.
If you do have a bank account, they will ask you to deposit your check and you will later receive your amount in your account after the check clears in a few days.
Thus, while the process and fees in bank are not quite clear, the same is clearly mentioned in check cashing stores. Additionally, the biggest advantage of check cashing stores is its ability to give you your money within a few minutes rather than days.
In all, there are 3 main reasons why we can say that choosing Check Cashing services will be a better decision than having to visit banks for the same:
The check cashing services charge a very clear, pre-decided fee on any and every kind of transaction. Before a customer gets their amount cashed, they’re well informed about the amount that will be deducted and no additional fees on the same are added later.
People might consider that the fees charged are quite high and the same services in the bank are much less, but there are a lot of facts that are not taken into consideration.
The banks too drain your money; the only difference is that the process and amount to be deducted is not told to you before-hand. In banks, there are ATM fees, overdraft fees, maintenance fees that are charged on transactions and for which the amount is directly deducted from your account during the time when the transaction takes place.
In the case of check-cashing services, complete transperancy is maintained between the employee and customer. They are quite clear and up front about the fees that are going to be charged to the customer, the entire cashing process takes place right in front of the customer- including the documentation, verification and cashing. Thus, no issues in terms of process failure or scam can come across.
In the cases of banks, you are often not told about the fees that are going to be charged on your transaction. It might come as a surprise to you after the transaction is completed, and later nothing can be done about it.
There might be times when the charges are mentioned somewhere but in small fonts or unimportant manner which in turn doesn’t bring the notice of the customer, resulting complete unawareness about the process and fees for the customer.
While the customer might be expecting to receive a complete amount of say $100, he/she might end up seeing that $2 are deducted as ATM fees and $9 as maintenance fees. Thus, it can be definitely said that transparency is much higher in the case of check-cashing rather than banks.
The check cashing stores completely depend on the relationship their maintain with their customers. It is a very customer oriented business as it works on the interactions and the quality of service they provide to their customers.
Banks have been in the market since a very long time and people usually go to banks for their financial doings. Thus, banks do not aim at interacting and engaging with the customers, rather the only form of interaction for them is while the process takes place and through tellers.
But in check cashing, it becomes necessary to ensure that good service is given to their customers so that they visit again and a relationship of trust and loyalty is developed between the two.
In today’s world, people value service more and they would feel right to spend money on something/someone who takes time to explain them the process and assist them with the transaction rather than approaching an institution where employees rush you to different counters rather than helping you with the same. Thus, service does matter and the quality of service in both carries a lot of difference.
After understanding what exactly check cashing is and the services and benefits it offers, it can be said that check cashing service is definitely a good and affordable alternative for banking. Keeping in mind the various benefits it offers at the minimal fees that are charged for the same, it can be said that the amount is worth putting in.
There is no risk involved and you get your money straight away. Thus, all the banking activities that you might be looking for in different banks can be easily done through check cashing services too but in a much easier, convenient, affordable and better way.