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ING Electric Orange Check Experiment

by The Happy Rock on March 7, 2008

 

[Update 8-11-2011] – ING Now offers paper check books for Electric Orange accounts.

The checkbooks can be ordered from the ‘Account Maintenance’ page of your Electric Orange account.    View the details of the ING checkbook at the Checkbook Help Page.

orange flower water

I have been using the ING Electric Orange checking account for almost a year now and I have been very pleased. One downfall to being able to earn 2.25% on your checking account balance is that they don’t offer a regular paper check book, but you can fill out an electronic check form and they will mail out a check for you. That function works great, and you don’t have to waste a stamp. Sometimes though, you still want to have a check that you can take with you or send in with a yourself. This is the exact reason I kept my Wachovia checking account to send real paper checks.

Because of that limitation I experimented with sending myself a check filled out to the person or company that I wanted to deliver the check to. What you do is add a new person to your contact list that has the name of the company or person you want the check made out to and use your address for the company’s address. Fill out the check and hit send, and a check will arrive at your house in a few days.

I tested this method by sending a check to my wife so I could see how it the check was filled out. The check is made out to the desired person/company, but your address will be listed under their name. I don’t really think that this will make a difference, but maybe someone in the banking industry can confirm that. Now you have a check in your hand that you can give or send to whomever you need.

The one caveat is that ING Electric Orange checks are treated like bank checks. The money is withdrawn from your account the moment the check is sent. So if there is a problem with the check or it can’t be cashed for some reason, you must issue a stop check to release the money back to your account that will cost $25. Because of this I have yet to fully trust the system and try it with a big check. If it does work, it is a sneaky way to get around the no paper checks drawback of the Electric Orange account.

Addendum

I got an official response from ING customer service that should help clarify the situation.

Here is my question : Is it possible to send a paper check with the name being the person I need to give the check to and use my address. The check will be in their name, and then be mailed to my house. I would then be able to mail or give the check to the person needed. The only problem would be that my address would be under their name on the check, is this a problem?

Here is the ING response :

They may have trouble cashing the check. I would suggest making sure to put OR in there so there will be less of an issue when the person cashes the check. For example:

Line 1: Put business or Payee name

Line 2: Put OR and then your name

Line 3: Put your address

Many customers have tried this and it seems to work fine. We are trying to come up with possible solutions and until then I will forward your concerns to the Electric Orange improvement team.

Thank you,
Danielle

ING DIRECT USA
Member FDIC
Equal Housing Lender

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Note : If you don’t have a ING savings and want get a free $25 dollars for opening an Electric Orange Checking account with $250 send me an email. I(The Happy Rock) will send you the offer and if you sign up you will get a free $25 dollars and I will get a free $10 for referring you.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

PT March 7, 2008 at 2:27 am

Interesing. I want to know how this turns out. We’ll be using them more exclusively in the fall when my wife goes back to school (my checks all go to ING, her’s are still with BOA).

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PT March 9, 2008 at 11:32 pm

Cool. Looks like the experiment is a success with this slight modification. Way to think out of the box. I had some friends talk about ING checks this weekend. They were being thrown away by the receiver b/c they thought it was junk mail. This should solve their problem.

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Ben March 13, 2008 at 9:06 pm

I went to Costco online and ordered paper checks with my ING Direct information, so now I have paper checks. ING even has a form you can print out from their website that I faxed to Costco to get the checks printed.

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The Happy Rock March 13, 2008 at 10:57 pm

@Ben – I had not heard that, and will look into it. I would doubt that ING wants that to happen, because removing the manpower and fees needed for paper processing would not be something they want to incur. Just my guess. I am definitely intrigued though.

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Ben March 14, 2008 at 7:28 am

I went back through my process of signing up for check, and it was actually the “Voided Check” link under “Useful forms”. But I got the link info from support when I asked about sending Costco a voided check so I could order paper checks. Maybe they will allow it but definately aren’t encouraging it. Anyway, I noticed that checks I write get pulled out of my account very fast. I bet most banks cashing the checks just pull the money out using the routing and account number, just like you would use to transfer money out of ING to another account. I mean, how different is it for me to write a paper check versus ING sending a paper check for me to a recipient?

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james h December 19, 2009 at 7:45 pm

loved finding this post, tried to get checks through costco using ben’s strategy. got the checks, they don’t work. wrote myself a check to my other bank account, it cleared, two days later they took it back and charged me $10 fee. now i have 600 ing direct paper checks, useless. ing would be hands down the best bank in america for simple users like me as far as services, online, and rates, if paper checks existed. bummer.

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Ben December 21, 2009 at 6:26 pm

Yes, this strategy stopped working probably about 6 months ago or maybe more? I got a bunch of letters from ING saying to stop sending checks – they were going to not accept them anymore… :(

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Kim March 25, 2011 at 10:53 am

I called ING today. They are going to be coming out with the ability to write normal checks and carry a checkbook. He told me this feature would be availble within six months and it’s March 2011. So hopefully by the fall.

I love ING, but this is a terrible drawback for me. I can’t fully move my checking over until I can literally, physically write checks on the spot. I don’t do it often, but we all
have to do it occassionally.

Peace,

Kim

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Tom August 10, 2011 at 8:07 pm

yeah – as soon as ING comes out with a paper check feature, I’m going to close down my US Bank account.

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The Happy Rock August 11, 2011 at 8:16 pm

@Tom – You are in luck, ING released checkbooks for the Electric Orange checking accounts today!

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Jonathan@Friends&Money November 27, 2012 at 4:44 pm

We have the same issue in the UK but a great suggestion! I love ING they are a very efficient organisation generally and I get a very good savings return and excellent customer service.

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