Small Business Vendors Hate Slow Check Payments, But High Fees Are Curbing E-Payment Use

Small business owners say they feel the pain of slow checks.

Viewpost, a business-to-business payments network, calls check-based vendor payments "antiquated invoicing," noting that "most Americans have lost hope when they hear "the check is in the mail."

"In fact, many entrepreneurs are ready to call a strike upon hearing that statement," Viewpost says in an email to TheStreet.

In a new study of nearly 3,000 payments professionals, Viewpost, based in Orlando, Fla., found that "electronic payments is the preferred method of payment by a majority of professionals (51.6%) and is close to replacing paper checks as the number one method of payment (paper at 37% versus electronic at 35%) for U.S. businesses."

While one in three business executives say they would mull over a switch in banks, if the new bank offered electronic payments, all small business decision-makers surveyed by Viewpost said they still use paper checks, mostly because business partners and suppliers don't accept e-payments, and because there are no "hidden fees."

"Our survey data clearly shows that traditional invoicing -- and the entire antiquated, old-school payments process -- are a big pain point," says Max Eliscu, chief executive officer at Viewpost, which is in the business of online cash management.

But some entrepreneurs say they can live with slower check payments, if it means they can avoid high e-payment processing fees.

"E-payment fees can really cut into a huge percentage of profit," says Mike Stratta, founder and CEO of Arcalea, a marketing and advertising firm located in Chicago.

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