Cheque Printing Standards According to the Canadian Payments Association (CPA)

July 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Canadian Payments Association (CPA) is a not-for-profit association created in 1980 by an Act of Parliament.

There are changes to cheques. Do your cheques meet the new CPA standards? Here are the facts you need to know.

In 2005 the CPA announced new specifications for personal and business cheques. The CPA extended the transition period until September 2, 2008.If you ordered cheques after 2005 they already meet the new standard but here is how it affects you:

  • Financial Institutions will recognize that some “old format” business cheques still exist and they will accept them until further notice to avoid potential disruption.
  • Clients with the “old format” cheques can continue to use them until their supply is gone.

The easiest way for you to make sure your cheques meet the new standard is the date format. If the format is MMDDYYYY or DDMMYYYY or YYYYMMDD, your cheques meet the new standard.

These new standards are intended to ensure that cheques can leverage all new image technologies. The new specifications as outlined in CPA Standard 006, Part A, are necessary to ensure that high-quality cheque images can be captured, both for clearing purposes and for delivery to clients, and to enhance processing efficiency.

Here are 7 things to check for issued on the new standard cheques

  • As mentioned above check that the dates are MMDDYYY or DDMMYYY. If so, your cheques meet the new standard.
  • The serial number should be encoded in the MICR line.
  • The minimum length of cheque increases.
  • Security features do not interfere with image capture.
  • Standardized positions for key fields on the cheque (i.e. field amount).
  • New requirements for the reverse of the cheque.
  • No elements that could hinder image capture on the cheque (i.e. inverse printing, italics, slanted fonts, black carbon on the reverse of cheques, a bottom border, and complex or colorful backgrounds.

In addition to the things to look for, the main things that have changed on Cheques are:

  • An increase in the minimum length of cheques to 6 ¼”, or 15.88 cm, from 6”, to ensure there is enough space for the mandatory serial number in the MICR line.
  • A mandatory serial number in the MICR line encoded at the bottom of the cheque.
  • Specified positions for key fields on the cheque, including the date field and the amount in figures.
  • New printing requirements on the reverse of the cheque so that image capture can be verified.
  • Disallowance of elements that may hinder the capture of images or data from the cheque.
  • A provision to ensure that security features do not interfere with key data, or “areas of interest,” as defined in Standard 006, Part A, and either prior to imaging or post imaging. In particular, if a VOID pantograph or other hidden pantograph is used, the pantograph must not be visible on images captured from original cheques.
  • Some revisions to technical specifications (e.g. Print Contrast Signal) to ensure high-quality images can be captured. For example, some colourful or detailed backgrounds that have been used on cheques to date may interfere with image quality and may need to be changed.

If you would like more information about Cheque Standards visit the CPA standards for cheques webpage.

Cheque Printing Options for Businesses

July 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Cheque Printing for Business

Cheque Printing For Your Business

No longer is the bank your only resource for cheque printing for your business. Now there are ways that you can print your own cheques using your laser or inkjet printer as well as ordering custom cheques from an online provider.

This article about cheque printing provides some useful information for business professionals wanting to print their own cheques. Using our online cheque ordering system, you can easily have custom cheques printed in less than a week. We do cheque printing for any accounting software, manual hand-written business cheques and computer cheques you can use with your laser or inkjet printer. Your order is shipped within three to four business days and all their cheques are Canadian Payments Association (CPA) compliant.

Placing an order for cheque printing at Cheque Depot is also a very fast and convenient way to get your cheques. During the order process you can choose the kind of cheques you want for your business: laser cheques, continuous computer cheques or manual cheques. Then you are given a options of how you want your cheque to look:

  • Your business information
  • Your banking information
  • The cheque design and colour
  • Custom text on the cheque
  • Add a custom logo
  • Choose your accounting software

One important thing about our cheque printing is that all our laser, manual and computer cheques are secure and fully compatible with CPA standards. The CPA standards are the new Canadian Payment Associations regulations for cheques. It is mandatory that all cheques printed anytime now or in the future have these standards. To find out more about this you can go to the CPA website.

Cheque Printing Software

Another option for business professionals is to use cheque printing software to print on custom cheques. If you are already using a custom account software package then you can order cheques that can easily be printed using a laser printer or inkjet printer. Our cheques will work with any cheque printing software. This is a list of the most popular cheque printing and accounting software programs we support:

  • Simply Accounting
  • Peacetree Accounting
  • Quickbooks
  • Quicken
  • AccPac
  • PC Law
  • ESI-Law

For a full list of other cheque printing software we support visit our custom cheque printing software page.

Cheque printing software is a wonderful new tool because if you’re in a hurry you can print a custom cheque in a few minutes. It also allows you to have more complete control over the design of your cheques, and customize with your own logo. Business professionals can now have the option to save time and money with cheque printing.