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Checking In with Checkbook.io

In the year since our last look at Checkbook.io, the company has partnered with Baxter Credit Union, teamed up with fellow fintechs, and topped more than two million users of its Digital Check technology.

Checkbook.io also partnered with LuLaRoe to enable the e-commerce provider to issue a million-plus check sales tax refund disbursement. “That was another major milestone for us,” said founder and CEO of Checkbook.io, P.J. Gupta.

Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, Checkbook.io has dozens of enterprise partners, and has already processed hundreds of millions of dollars since inception in 2015. The company demonstrated its Digital Check technology at FinovateSpring 2017, and we caught up with Gupta recently to talk about the way accounting firms in particular have taken to his company’s Digital Check solution.

“Paper checks are a major irritant for accountants,” Gupta explained, highlighting some of the key advantages of Digital Checks for accounting professionals in a conversation this fall. The technology integrates readily with widely-used accounting platforms including Quickbooks, he said, as well as the in-house systems of partners like Accountants World. Co-founder and CEO of Accountants World Dr. Chandra Bhansali noted that his firm had a designated project manager “specifically to leverage all of the benefits of Checkbook.io.” Bhansali added, “We’re committed to a future where no paper check or paper reconciliation will ever slow us down.”

Opening up the technology to accountants as a white-label solution via API was important. “They wanted to do it from their portal, their application,” Gupta said. “And there aren’t dozens, but hundreds of accounting software packages. So we have provided an API where companies can build a white-label integration, and they are now able to send or request Digital Checks from their own accounting packages.”

And because Checkbook.io replicates the paper check writing experience, there is no learning curve, on boarding, or enrollment.  As a more affordable and efficient alternative to paper checks, Digital Checks can save companies time and money, including when it comes to having to issue stop payments or re-issue checks.

As an example, Gupta points to the “extremely simple and lucrative” use case with Baxter Credit Union mentioned earlier. “They were spending more than $20 to $30 per check, overnighting these checks to their recipients for auto loans,” he said. “And with us, it’s going to be less than $1. End-to-end tracking. No more ‘check is in the mail’, ‘got lost in the mail’, etc.”

Looking toward the future, Gupta pointed to both new funding and new platform features as part of the plan for 2019. He said that the company had reached the “millions” stage using just seed funding and early stage, and was now looking to “go to the next level” of “tens of millions” in the year to come. More partnerships with banks and financial services companies, including potential collaboration with a fellow Finovate alum, are also on the agenda.

Gupta also talked about new ways to help customers get paid quicker. “Right now when you get your Digital Check in your email, you can do a direct deposit and the funds can take anywhere from overnight to three days to clear depending on how the originator is set up,” he said. “What we’re doing is instant pay, the ability of the recipient to input their debit card and get the cash instantly. Literally. As soon as they log in, the money will be in their bank account.” The feature is expected to be introduced early in 2019.

Learn more about Checkbook.io and P.J. Gupta in our extended 2016 interview.