The History of the Business Check

Today’s laser checks save time, money, and boost financial accuracy. Have you ever wondered where and when the check started? Care to take a guess? 1800s? 1500s? 1200s? Would you believe they first appeared around the 4th century B.C.E.?

The first business checks

While checks are without a clear-cut start date, some experts believe that the Romans may have created the check around 352 B.C. However, it took until the early 1500s for the idea of the check to really take hold – this time in Holland. At that time, Amsterdam was an economic hub where international shipping and trading was booming. Dutch “cashiers” sprang up and, for a fee, held cash for people who did not wish to keep large amounts on their person. After a time, depositors would write a note instructing cashiers to make payment from their accounts.
Checks appeared to have hit the scene in England around the 1700s. Lawrence Childs (a British banker) was responsible for the first printed checks in 1762. Serial numbers were placed on pieces of paper as a way to ‘check’ them and the word “check” may have been born.
So what about the history of checks here in the United States? Some historians point to an incident in 1681 as the start. Boston businessmen supposedly mortgaged land to a fund, and were subsequently able to write checks from it. Whether or not this is accurate, checks did become quite common here after the Civil War, especially once the Treasury and federally chartered banks were on board to create more checks. With the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, payments could be handled via telegraph, and checks became more popular. Finally, the MICR system was created in 1959 allowing machines to read check information (i.e. account numbers) and making checks an accepted and widely used vehicle for financial transactions.

Laser checks today

We’ve come a long way since the first check was written. Today, many businesses across the country and world rely on business laser checks for improved financial accuracy and efficiency. Laser checks look like traditional manual checks, but are paired with financial accounting software programs such as QuickBooks® and Peachtree® to allow users to create and print checks – and immediately record financial transactions into the system. offers fully customizable laser checks that are compatible with 4,500 accounting software titles.
When you use laser checks with your accounting software, you ensure that all of your financial data is up-to-date – giving you more insight into your expenses revenue, profitability, and cash on hand. You can also utilize budgeting and forecasting tools to run your business in a smarter way. Laser checks minimize financial errors (common with traditional methods of manual checks and handwritten ledgers), save time, and help boost profitability.
When checks were first introduced, there were no doubt people concerned about the new method of completing financial transactions. Today, laser checks may prompt the same concerns around software security and automation. Fortunately businesses can feel secure about their privacy with trusted resources like Financial data always remains protected and private.
Business checks have evolved over time for a reason. While the purpose has remained the same – to safely and effectively send and receive money between people – the needs of society have changed. In the e-commerce world, business moves at a fast pace. Laser computer checks are an effective way to streamline the financial management process, and switch the focus from simply recording numbers into building a stronger and smarter foundation for continued business success.

This article is made possible by For more than 35 years, has provided over 500,000 businesses with high quality business checksdeposit slips, and other banking supplies with easy ordering and fast production times; all at the guaranteed lowest price in the nation. Our discount business checks are easily customizable and compatible with over 4,500 software programs including QuickBooks® and Peachtree/Sage®. Email or call us toll-free at 800-245-5775.