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ING Direct To Offer Paper Checks To Electric Orange Customers


Update 8/13/2011: Paper checks are now available from ING Direct. Please refer to my ING Direct paper checks news for more details.

ING Direct will finally allow Electric Orange checking customers to write paper checks. According to an ING Direct rep, this will be publicly launched on Wednesday, July 27, 2011. You'll be able to order the checks when you're logged into your ING Direct account. I was told there will be a charge for the order, $5 for a book of 50 paper checks. And they won't allow you to buy checks from a third party. This is apparently due to security. They have a security process that will require you to activate the checks when you receive them in the mail. On the plus side, there are no fees or limitations for using the paper checks.

Thanks to the reader cumulus who first mentioned this news in the discussion forum.

Even with the fee for buying the checks, I think this is a good move by ING Direct. The fee is fair in my opinion. For the vast majority of transactions, you should be able to avoid paper checks by using online bill pay, debit cards and ING Direct's Person2Person Payment system. The paper checks will come in handy for the few occasions when a paper check is required. Sometimes it may not be required, but the person that you need to pay is just more comfortable with an old fashion paper check. With the EO account, you always had the option to mail a check from the online account. However, for someone expecting an old fashion paper check, this can still be confusing.

Reason Behind The Change?

My guess is that it's a response to Ally Bank's Interest Checking Account. For many people the lack of paper checks is a deal killer for a checking account. In my paper check poll from last year, only 4% of 67 readers said they never write paper checks.

I doubt the pending acquisition of ING Direct by Capital One had any effect on this. The acquisition announcement was only 6 weeks ago.

Ally Bank will still have the advantage in that they offer free checks. However, nothing is free. There's cost in printing the checks, mailing them and processing them. That cost will eat into the interest they pay. Perhaps ING Direct decided to charge for checks so that the price will pay for the extra overhead. For those who just write a couple of checks per month, this cost will be minimal.

Other Future Changes

I also asked the ING Direct rep if we can expect any other changes. I was told that remote deposit capture is scheduled to be launched before the end of August. This will allow ING Direct customers to scan checks at home and deposit them online without having to mail in the checks. Unlike Ally which introduced their remote deposit to certain customers, ING Direct's remote deposit should be available to all customers. I first reported on ING Direct plans for remote deposit last March.

Comparison to Other Internet Checking Accounts

With paper checks and remote deposit capture, it will become much easier to use ING Direct's Electric Orange account as your primary checking account and eliminate any need for a local bank. With all the changes at both ING Direct and at Ally Bank, I'm going to have to update my comparison of Ally and ING Direct checking accounts. I still give the edge to Ally Bank. For those with large balances, ING Direct EO offers the best interest rate (1.15% APY for $100K+ as of 7/25/11).

In February, I reviewed the best internet checking accounts that offer paper checks. One interesting thing to note is that Capital One Direct Banking offers the first order of checks for free. For those worried about the addition of fees with Capital One taking over, this is an example where ING Direct has more fees than Capital One.

Related Pages: checking account

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Dan S
Dan S (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #1
If both of these things happen I will definitely consider using them as my primary checking.  Having a few checks available per year will be awesome! 
Bancxman (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #2
Finally. this will put an end to me having to wait the two to three days it takes to transfer funds from my Electric Orange account to another bank from which I can write a check.
CD Bloodhound
CD Bloodhound (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #3
Excellent!  I use my ING account as the clearinghouse my CD purchases.  There have been a few times when local banks have had CD specials but I could not write a paper check from my ING account to guarantee capturing the rate.  Had to send an electronic check and hope that the rate would still be in effect three days later.  
RJM   |     |   Comment #4
Well, its needed but I wont pay $5 for 50 checks.  My local Credit union, where I have 2 reward checking accounts will print a couple for me now and then without me having to buy them.

Plus, with Capital One coming, I honestly doubt I will be around forever.

I like the ING interface & billpay but I remain convinced that Capital One will **** it up somehow, someway.

Probably with lower rates but any number of ways really. And they have created such negative goodwill with me that I wont think twice about closing my 6 figure account. The 1.15% is why I am here.

Finally, isnt it illegal to not allow 3rd party checks ? I thought you could write one on a napkin and as long as it had the correct info they are supposed to honor it ?

I write less than 5 checks per year. And only one that I know for sure....my tag renewl. Costs $5.95 extra to pay online with a credit card. And $3.00 extra to pay with an e-check. I send them a paper check and it costs me a stamp.
Gaelicwench   |     |   Comment #6
Oh my, my post was removed?? Must have been off topic. <eyeroll> Regardless, I am glad that ING is going to be offering paper checks. Since ING is my main household account and I pay 90% of my bills from it, there does come on occasion a need for writing a check. Changing banks is time-consuming and can be annoying at times.

I am truly curious as to how ING will change once under Capital One Banking. Time will tell....
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #7
Any EO customers see where they can order the checks? I don't anywhere in my account where I can buy them. Supposed to be available today right?

C'monnnnn ING!
Rage (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #8
@#7 - I didn't see it either.

@RJM - I have a bunch of friends who work for Cap 1's bank (corporate).  They're aware of the venom, and they're doing their best not to mess it up.  As an ING customer, I'm hoping they don't!!
Bancxman (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #9
Anonymous - #7,  I just logged off of my Electric Orange account. So far, there's no mention of paper checks.
Anonymous #7
Anonymous #7 (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #11
Still nothing. I called ING and the rep didn't say that we could order checks.

Bogus news maybe?
primerate (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #12
Nothing here either. Perhaps the launch was postponed.

Not that I'm going to pay for checks... I'm more interested in Remote Deposit finally getting here!


BTW, it's "old fashioned". 
old fashion ?
old fashion ? (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #13
think my grand pappy use to drink them cheers
Andrew (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #14
This is what I just received from ING customer service.


Hi Andrew,

At this time, Electric Orange checking doesn't come with a paper checkbook, since it's an online, paperless account. We also can't accept checks created for this account by third party companies or ones you print from your home computer. We are hoping to be able to offer paper checks in the future - stay tuned.


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RJM   |     |   Comment #15

Too bad your friends wouldnt intervene over a bogus $15 late payment fee years ago that caused me to close my account and speak bad about them every chance I get.

As for ordering checks from ING, I dont see it either but its probably just been delayed.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #16
Based on rates at check printing companies like ChecksInTheMail, CarouselChecks, ChecksUnlimited, WalmartChecks, SamsClubChecks, CostcoChecks, and others, (if you buy 1 box, no special lettering, protections, or expedited shipping), ING Direct at $5/50 checks is still too expensive. Is this just gossip? Any real evidence?
RJM   |     |   Comment #17
When I said that $5 for 50 checks is too expensive, I meant on a relative basis. Its 10 cents a check. With big question marks over if I will even use 5 checks before changing accounts.

Plus, I have seen "deals" where checks are far less expensive than 10 cents each.

I nearly bought 400 for about $4.50 a few months ago. Good thing I didnt, I changed banks because they lowered their rates.

Paperchecks are really becoming antiquated.  And, a month or so ago, when I thought I was going to be able to renew my drivers license by mail, I went into one of those "easy money" type stores where they offer free money orders, (And charge people to cash checks & stuff)

Got a money order for free and a free cold drink too. (Canned soft drinks, bottled water & so forth)

As rarely as I need checks, I simply wont pay $5 for them.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #18
Logged into my account today and the option is available under account maintenance.  In addition to the checks, they've also updated the T&C to charge $9 for checks that are presented NSF.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #19
They also have a cool thing, you can enter the checks you have written on the account page, so you wont forget that you have written it. Its in orange and says something like enter your check here.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #20
I read on another blog that checks printed by another company will be rejected by ING. I thought banks had to accept checks printed by other companies as long as they meet ANSI standards?
Pilm (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #21
This is a good positive step for ING, but unfortunately I'm afraid once they become part of Captial One they will take 10 steps backwards for every one step forwards.  I've been using ING EO checking, and them only, for many years now, but in order to be prepared for the worst, I'm opening an Ally checking account just in case Capital One destroys the ING experience.
RJM   |     |   Comment #22

Have you tried Allys billpay as compared to INGs ?

I share your fears about capital one but hope they wont mess with it.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #23
this is a plea, beggin down on my knees, for businesses to stop accepting checks. the usa is the last country to be so stupid to accept them. we have other ways that are cheaper and more convenient for merchants and consumers alike. this is ridiculous, and a ridiculous step by ing. i don't get why you'd invest in a dying breed. good luck. everyone, get with the times!!!!!!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #24
Ally's bill pay is horrid. It's like some five year old created it. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #25
Ill have to agree.  Ally is terrible.  ING is way ahead of the game when it comes to online banking.  I just switched back to ING becuase Ally just cant compare.  No mobile app, their remote check depoist sucks for Macs, website is a joke.  Just a bad experience.