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Never occurred to me the USPS would be too fast
Old 12-31-2008, 06:07 PM   #1
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Never occurred to me the USPS would be too fast

Sent out some end of year charity checks on Dec. 27; didn't think they'd be received and cashed by 30/31 Dec.

Oh well, that's why I have overdraft protection and online banking.
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:20 PM   #2
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Maybe they were electronic transfers.
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:21 PM   #3
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Of course, the checks we're waiting for take longer to be delivered and cashed than the ones we send out to others. I believe we can call this "Khan's law" now.
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
Of course, the checks we're waiting for take longer to be delivered and cashed than the ones we send out to others. I believe we can call this "Khan's law" now.
I only write a few checks per year; don't think I've received one in years.
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:01 PM   #5
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Khan's Law

If you are told that "the check is in the mail", the arrival time in days is directly proportional to the speed of the mail truck delivering it.

If you tell someone "the check is in the mail", the cashing time in seconds is inversely proportional to the square of the zip code.
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:55 PM   #6
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Never occurred to me either, but that was before I picked up my mail today and next year's Form 1040 was in it.
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:37 PM   #7
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It might not be the USPS. "Check 21" legislation (if I'm naming it correctly) enables checks to be deposited via electronic image instead of paper. USAA's bank already allows customers to deposit checks by e-mailing a scanned image, and I imagine that the professionals have been doing this for some time.

"Float" is gone...
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:03 PM   #8
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It might not be the USPS. "Check 21" legislation (if I'm naming it correctly) enables checks to be deposited via electronic image instead of paper. USAA's bank already allows customers to deposit checks by e-mailing a scanned image, and I imagine that the professionals have been doing this for some time.

"Float" is gone...
I'm old enough to recall when credit card 'float' went from once a month to pretty much immediate.

I'd realized that 'float' had diminished, but didn't realize by how much.

As I said, my problem/fault/fee.
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
It might not be the USPS. "Check 21" legislation (if I'm naming it correctly) enables checks to be deposited via electronic image instead of paper. USAA's bank already allows customers to deposit checks by e-mailing a scanned image, and I imagine that the professionals have been doing this for some time.

"Float" is gone...
I'm sure this is the reason - I remember reading/hearing an article talking about this some time back and warning folks to be ready for very fast check turnarounds.
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:19 AM   #10
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The shortest float time I've seen is about 18 hours from one banking institution to another using the USPS.

If I drop my VISA payment check to my credit union at the post office before noon, it will almost always clear my bank by the next morning. The checks returned to the bank are mostly electronic transfer these days.

The gas company and electric company don't even return canceled checks to the bank anymore, all I see is a notice that money was transferred online.
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
It might not be the USPS. "Check 21" legislation (if I'm naming it correctly) enables checks to be deposited via electronic image instead of paper. USAA's bank already allows customers to deposit checks by e-mailing a scanned image, and I imagine that the professionals have been doing this for some time.

"Float" is gone...
Long gone.

Have any of you seen someone in front of you in the checkout line write a check lately? (Rare, I know, but there are still a few crustaceans seasoned citizens out there.) In many cases the clerk runs the check through a reader to electronically and instantaneously debit the amount from the checking account. Thee clerk then hands the check back to the writer who looks at it with a puzzled expression.

Any of you ex-military folks remember the crowds at the base/post exchange and commissary a couple of days before payday? We knew we could write a check and it wouldn't clear for a couple of days, thus the day was known as "Hot Check Wednesday". Now it's just another day when most GI's have run out of money before they've run out of month...
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
It might not be the USPS. "Check 21" legislation (if I'm naming it correctly) enables checks to be deposited via electronic image instead of paper. USAA's bank already allows customers to deposit checks by e-mailing a scanned image, and I imagine that the professionals have been doing this for some time.

"Float" is gone...
I recently rolled over an IRA from another company to VG. As time left in '08 was short, I didn't want to trust "Company A" to successfully send a direct roll-over to VG. If anything went wrong, I might not even know about it until too late.

So, I had them cut me a check (yeah, I know). The check did arrive relatively quickly cause I badgered Co. A about it. VG suggested I put the check in my bank and authorize them to remove the money via electronic transfer. Sounded pretty good until I took the check to my bank and they said they would have to put a 12 (business) day hold on it to clear. Got the bank manager to drop that to 6 BD.

OK, I admit I'm one of the "seasoned" "crustaceous" dinosaurs who still uses checks for things most of you do electronically. But why does a bank need to hold an account for "check clearance" if there is no longer a "float". Can't my bank electronically clear my Co. A check electronically too? My bank said no. It had to actually be done by mail. When I reminded them of "Check 21" (which I didn't know by name) they just shrugged. It doesn't work that way for deposited checks in my account they said.

Long story short, I accomplished the roll-over in time although now I (ahem, my accountant) have to do some fancy tax paperwork to insure I don't get an extra tax bill on the roll-over.

Can any non-dinosaurs explain the difference between my trying to float a check and Co. A floating me a check?

Is the "non-float" issue only between my bank and me rather than between any old check writer and any other bank?

Thanks for any enlightenment.

But next year... I'll start earlier. Yeah, right!
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:22 AM   #13
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Can any non-dinosaurs explain the difference between my trying to float a check and Co. A floating me a check?

Is the "non-float" issue only between my bank and me rather than between any old check writer and any other bank?
There is no technical issue that I am aware of, they do 'cos they can is my opinion. I have experienced the exact same thing a couple of times. I mean, 10 days! - gimme a break
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:45 AM   #14
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Any of you ex-military folks remember the crowds at the base/post exchange and commissary a couple of days before payday? We knew we could write a check and it wouldn't clear for a couple of days, thus the day was known as "Hot Check Wednesday". Now it's just another day when most GI's have run out of money before they've run out of month...
Not only is that line a lot shorter, but have you checked the average age of its membership? The younger crowd is off at the payday-loan and balance-transfer websites...

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Can any non-dinosaurs explain the difference between my trying to float a check and Co. A floating me a check?
Sorry, I fail the prerequisite. But from my personal experience, one significant difference is that the bank doesn't have to give a damn when you threaten to take your business elsewhere. They've exterminated even the most feeble reflex responses of customer loyalty.

About the only bills whose payments I haven't automated are the phone company and my credit cards. And if those guys would agree to set us up for some minimum amount (or maximum) then I'd do that too. Maybe I should look into that with Fidelity's bill-paying service.

I'd be thrilled if I could get a tenant to agree to set up an automatic EFT deposit to my account on the first business day of every month. But for whatever reason they still keep writing those checks and entrusting them to snail mail, which means that I get to trudge off to the ATM for more paperwork.

And yet Navy Federal Credit Union still puts a two-day hold on the deposit. Because despite over 25 years of my business and eight consecutive years of depositing rent checks, they never know when I'm gonna go rogue on them...

As for voting with my feet, perhaps NFCU is about to discover what happens when they won't match the mortgage rates of local bank Territorial Savings. I was pretty surprised when that local institution popped up on BankRate.com's nationwide interest-rate screener.
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:02 PM   #15
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I'm one of those fogies who still writes checks for what I think is a good reason. Being an ex fraud investigator, I want a paper trail. In the event of a dispute I want to be able to tell a business "show me the piece of paper with MY signature on it authorizing that transaction".

In the fine print of all the automatic withdrawal agreements that I've seen nobody takes responsibility for nothin'. So if they misplace a decimal point and a $75 bill becomes a $750 bill and you don't have the funds there to cover the others that come in, the one who made the mistake won't pay your late fees, otherwise known as "consequential damages".

Until they will, I will continue to write paper checks.
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Long gone.

Have any of you seen someone in front of you in the checkout line write a check lately? (Rare, I know, but there are still a few crustaceans seasoned citizens out there.) In many cases the clerk runs the check through a reader to electronically and instantaneously debit the amount from the checking account. Thee clerk then hands the check back to the writer who looks at it with a puzzled expression.

Any of you ex-military folks remember the crowds at the base/post exchange and commissary a couple of days before payday? We knew we could write a check and it wouldn't clear for a couple of days, thus the day was known as "Hot Check Wednesday". Now it's just another day when most GI's have run out of money before they've run out of month...
The local Meijer store has a video explaining this procedure showing at the checkout. I think it's new as of 1 January.
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Old 01-03-2009, 11:24 PM   #17
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I got a few amazon packages that were free shipping and got here several days earlier than expected...I think the post office was trying to get everything out as fast as possible and non-rush packages/mail got the benefit of the holiday hussle!

On another note, our local ups was renting ryder trucks to get all their holiday deliveries out on time the days leading up to the 25th...
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