Important to note: Third-party checks are still in beta testing and only accessible to a small group of customers. How do you know if you have access or not? Customers with beta access to third-party checks will see a new Check Dashboard on their Payments page, and a section called “Third-Party Checks”.
The beta is currently invitation-only. If you need to pay by check but have not been enrolled in beta testing, you can still mail a paper check to your recipient. More information can be found here: How to Make a Check Payment.
Sections in this article
- How to enable third-party check writing
- Understanding your approval threshold
- Check admins
- Receiving notifications about third-party checks
- How to review, and approve or deny, a third-party check
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When your business is enrolled in the beta testing for third-party checkbooks, you will have the ability to:
- Designate a specific check-writing account;
- Order checkbooks from a third-party vendor with your account and routing number printed on them;
- Review third-party check transaction limits;
- Assign check admins;
- Receive SMS & email notifications when a third-party check is deposited; and
- Approve or deny checks above the approval threshold.
Relay will not provide physical checkbooks. Checkbooks must be ordered from a third-party vendor such as Wal-Mart or Costco.
Prices and shipping fees will vary when ordering and replenishing checkbooks; however, Relay will not charge a fee when you pay by third-party check.
How to enable third-party check writing
Before you order your checkbooks, you must first enable check writing for your account. As this feature is still in beta testing with a small group of customers, you may not see the ability to enable check payments. If you are not part of the beta for third-party checks, please see How to Send a Check Payment if you would like Relay to mail a check to a payee on your behalf.
1. When logged into Relay on your desktop, navigate to the Payments tab and click Third-Party Checks.
2. Review the steps and click Continue.
3. Select your check writing account from the drop-down menu, then click Continue. Only one checking account can be used for third-party check payments.
4. Review your account information. This will need to be provided to the vendor when ordering your checkbooks. Click Continue.
5. Review your check writing limits. Click Continue.
6. Review the security measures and approval threshold. You can learn more about the approval threshold below. Click Continue.
7. Select the team members you want to assign as check admins from the drop-down menu. Only team members with Administrator permissions and advisors with Super Administrator permissions can be assigned as check admins.
8. Select your notification preference. All check admins will receive a notification when a third-party check is deposited.
9. Click Done to complete the setup process.
Understanding your approval threshold
The approval threshold is a security measure we’ve added to third-party check writing to help keep your business secure.
Your approval threshold determines which checks will automatically clear when deposited, and which will require manual approval.
Note: The default approval threshold is $2,000. This means:
- Checks written for less than $2,000 will automatically clear when deposited by the recipient.
- Checks written for $2,000 or more will need to be manually reviewed and approved by a team member with Administrator level permission, or an advisor with Super Administrator level permission.
When you assign a check admin, Relay will send a notification to them when a third-party check above the approval threshold is deposited. You can assign check admin access to any team member with Administrator permissions, or advisor with Super Administrator permissions.
Any team member with Administrator permissions, or advisor with Super Administrator permissions can approve a check. Only one person needs to approve or deny a third-party check payment.
Receiving notifications about third-party checks
All check admins will receive a notification when a third-party check is deposited by the recipient. When enabling third-party check writing you can select from one of three notification preferences:
- Email and SMS
All check admins will receive the same notification.
For checks above the approval threshold, the notification will include a link to log in to Relay to review the check.
How to review, and approve or deny, a third-party check
You and your team members with Administrator permissions, or advisors with Super Administrator permissions, can manually approve or deny any third-party check above the approval threshold. You will have until 11:50 AM EST the following business day to approve the check. If a check is not approved before 11:50 AM EST the following business day the check will automatically be denied.
To review and approve or deny a check:
- Click the link in the check notification and log into Relay.
- Click the image of the check to see an image of the check in more detail.
- Click Approve or Deny. Checks that are approved will clear as expected. Checks that are denied will be returned.
Only one team member or advisor needs to approve or deny a check. If a check is denied in error or is not approved before the cut-off time, you will need to write a new check and provide it to the recipient.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Does Relay charge a fee to use third-party checks?
- Relay will not charge a fee for you to enable third-party checks. There will also be no transaction fee associated with paying by third-party check. However, the third-party check provider will charge a fee to print and ship the checks. Fees will vary depending on the vendor.
How long will it take for checkbooks to arrive in the mail?
- Shipping times will vary depending on the third-party vendor. Some vendors may allow you to order/pickup checks at brick-and-mortar locations which could provide a faster turnaround time if the checks are needed quickly.
Can check admins turn off check notifications?
- No, all check admins will receive a notification via text, email, or both when a third-party check is deposited.
What happens if a third-party check is deposited but I do not have sufficient funds in my account?
- The check will be returned for insufficient funds. A new check will need to be written and deposited by the recipient.
Will Relay charge an insufficient funds fee if a check is returned?
- No, Relay does not charge a fee if the check is returned.
If a check is not approved in time, can the recipient re-deposit the same check?
- No, if a check is not approved in time it will be automatically rejected if re-deposited. A new check will need to be written and provided to the recipient.
I would like to set up multi-stage approvals for third-party checks. Is that something I can do?
- Currently, only one team member or advisor is required to approve or deny a check.
Do third-party checks affect my ability to mail a check from my Relay account in any way?
- No. Third-party checks are considered a separate type of transaction, and will not impact mailed checks in any way.
When are funds debited from my account?
- The funds will be debited from your account when the check is deposited by the recipient. If the check is above the approval threshold and is denied by a team member or advisor, the funds will be returned to your account.