Order Cheques in Canada
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Ordering Cheques in Canada vs. USA
Although recent standard formatting updates have made American cheques very similar to Canadian cheques, there are a few key differences between ordering cheques in Canada compared to cheque ordering in the US, where cheques remain highly popular:
- Canadian cheques have different account numbering on the bottom than in the US due to our different bank account number structure
- US cheques have fractional routing and transit numbers on the top of the cheque to better differentiate between bank branches
- US cheques sometimes use a special numbering algorithm to help prevent cheque fraud
- US cheques do not use holograms – this is a Canadian advent due to the prevalence holograms on our currency
- US banks generally charge less for their cheques and cheque-related fees because there is more competition for private banking. That is why it’s better to order cheques online in Canada, as you are supporting a local business, rather than a big bank, and will generally get a lot better service for your money.
Canadian Cheque Standards
Cheque Print complies with very strict standards issued by the Canadian Payments Association. These include a number of cheque order and manufacture regulations but are generally focused in two key areas:
Magnetic Image Character Recognition (MICR) encoding – the standard sequence of numbers at the bottom of a cheque
- These numbers must be printed in special magnetic ink, with a specific font, size and format. This is because machines use these numbers to read the cheque via metallic reactions.
- Pro Tip: It is important not to make any marks in this area when writing a cheque.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) imaging – the overall layout and formatting of a cheque
- The placement of certain data must be in specific places so it can be easily read by machines.
- Pro Tip: It is important to print clearly and not have any numeric digits in the long-form amount line when writing a cheque.
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