back to article Microsoft to stop accepting checks from partners

Microsoft has told its north American partners they can't pay with checks starting from December 1. An advisory posted for partners last week warns that "Effective October 1, 2022, Microsoft will remove the check payment option from new commerce invoices. This change affects only the United States (including Puerto Rico) and …

  1. Woza

    So, partners need to check that they don't check the checkbox next to cheque?

    1. Dimmer

      Direct access to your bank account

      ACH is a direct draw from your account for whatever they want. You wake up one morning and there is nothing in your account. This is from the same guys that last nights patch did a bsod on your server.

      If you can catch it, you contest it and the bank charges it back.

      So if I get this right, the latest OS wants your phone number, now they want access to your bank account?

      1. Frank Bitterlich

        Re: Direct access to your bank account

        AFAIK, ACH covers both credit transfer (active) and direct debit (passive). I'm pretty sure that they are talking about the credit transfer option here.

  2. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Ahh cheques.

    I was thinking of check-constraints or checks-and-balances when I read the subhead.

    You've sold out, I see.

    1. cyberdemon Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Ahh cheques.

      Yes, that'll be El Reg's new Californian "deputy" editor-in-chief, subsequently hiring four more Americans and firing Alistair Dabbs - he was too British, and El Reg is now an AmericanGlobal publication!

      1. Mad Dave

        Re: Ahh cheques.

        Thank you for the explanation, I was wondering why El Reg was shit these days.

    2. MrReynolds2U
      Happy

      Re: Ahh cheques.

      Hilariously, nothing in the comments about the actual context of the article, it's all about cross-pond spelling differences and the editorial changes at El Reg.

      As for the use of "checks" in place of "cheques", it grates on me a bit but I'd prefer that the journalists spend their time and efforts on the story rather than converting it between different flavours of English.

      I notice the HTML "lang" attribute is set to "en" so content could be any English variant. Personally I can't wait for articles written in "en-jm" along with a bit of local slang.

      1. cyberdemon Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Ahh cheques.

        Maybe the only thing noteworthy about the article is the odd spelling of its title?

        If the article had been titled "Microsoft to stop accepting cheques", my cursor would have moved straight past, because most companies have stopped accepting cheques decades ago.

        But as it was, I was curious as to what checks from partners was Microsoft no longer accepting? Checks on code security? Identity checks? Standards are slipping at Microsoft perhaps?

        It is a very annoying homonym. Until quite recently, I thought that "Rain Check" meant to look outside and see if it was raining or not..

        bloody merkins

        (and yes, I am aware of the 'correct' use of the word merkin. They deserve it)

        1. cyberdemon Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Ahh cheques.

          Dear downvoting American colleagues: This was an example of Tongue-in-Cheek Humo(u)r. I don't -really- equate you to pubic wigs! (or do I?? :o)

          / sticks thumbs in ears, waggles fingers, and blows raspberries across the Atlantic /

    3. Flywheel
      FAIL

      Re: Ahh cheques.

      Yeah, they plowed all their checks into buying a US spellchecker - or should that be spellchequer?

      1. Dippywood

        Some of our 'U's are missing...

        I sure that it is only a matter of time now until some U's go missing, and certain words are Z-ised. That's Zed-ised, not Zee-ized, which would be wrong in at least two ways.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ahh cheques.

      "This change affects only the United States (including Puerto Rico) and Canada."

      I really do have to wonder at the ability of people to read and apply real world knowledge.

      Let's see what the advisory itself says: "Summary: Starting October 1, 2022, partner invoices will no longer contain physical check remit instructions on the face of their summarized invoice."

      So the 'crime' was not translating 'certain' words into your local 'lects?

      You've preponed your gripes you have.

    5. Smeagolberg

      Re: Ahh cheques.

      The Beeb news site held my attention for years, including the Technology and Science sections. They deteriorated. (Subcontracted out?) Paragraphs of news became sentences. Twitter screenshots were news substitutes. Technology news became reports on Facebook and iPhones.

      One day hpe of improvement evaporated. I looked for alternatives and found The Register. Is it, now, on the same path? Instead of seeing a headline elsewhere and thinking, "El Reg will have reported on this in depth," I increasingly think, "I'll see whether El Reg has picked up this story".

      I still like much / most of the content but news is increasingly late, or absent. 24 hour coverage seems to have diminished. Stories often don't make El Reg until certain parts of the world wake up and catch up. Reporting used to be 24 x 7, as they say.

      In a way I'm disappointed. In another way, if the trend leads me to look elsewhere or even to spend more time on real life and less on the screens that have dominated my life for 50 years (*) (counting 56bps data terminals with thermal paper rolls as 'screens') who knows what I might (re)discover?

      The kids of today don't know what the world was like before the ghosts in the machines stole their developing lives. As someone once wrote in the days of paper books, "Brave new world that has such people in it".

      (*) The killer virus was the web-in-the-pocket. Once there was a ten minute walk to another building to log on to pre-web techie forums once a week. Then there were digital onanism, Zuckerbots and Muskbots...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ahh cheques.

        I don't come here much since the .co.uk was dropped

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Social Commentary

    Here in the UK, rather than getting rid of cheques, the banks (after an initial move to ditch cheques and being told "no" by the UK government) set up a system where you can send a photo of a cheque you've received to your bank, and effectively clear it yourself via the banking system.

    This is a a good idea, because it means cheques can still exist whilst the costs of running a chequing system were reduced (which is what the banks wanted). This then doesn't discriminate against those who aren't or can't get online, i.e. those lacking the capacity, those without the funds to afford the internet connection fees, etc. Thus, such people can still transfer money in a safe and secure way, fulfilling an essential social need for those who, perhaps more than anyone else, need it, and the recipient of their cheques (generally, a business / tradesman) doesn't bear a huge cost or delay for banking them.

    I don't know what the USA's new system is going to be, but I hope they've not forgotten about those people for whom e-banking really doesn't work...

    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser

      Re: Social Commentary

      It's a good idea to retain the cheque, just in case there is a need to check the cheque has been properly handled.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Social Commentary

        Also it doesn't always work, I've had one where the monetary value was poorly written inside the box and had to take it into the bank instead as it was simply rejected online.

    2. crewe_dave

      Re: Social Commentary

      Except Monzo, oddly.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: send a photo of a cheque you've received to your bank,

      This has been possible with many US banks for nearly a decade.

      What's really making the US clinging to checks is the still comparatively high costs of electronic bank transfers, which often carry quite substantial fees and delays.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: send a photo of a cheque you've received to your bank,

        What's really making the US clinging to checks is the still comparatively high costs of electronic bank transfers, which often carry quite substantial fees and delays.

        Well, yes, because they got away with charging customers even more for using facilities that made transactions even cheaper to process and nobody ever challenged that. Classic bank behaviour. Nobody ever got charged for the subprime mess either - they still all somehow got massive bonuses despite being bailed out by the tax payer.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: send a photo of a cheque you've received to your bank,

        >This has been possible with many US banks for nearly a decade.

        That's a good thing! I just hope they don't ever take it away entirely!

    4. navarac

      Re: Social Commentary

      .... as long as the cheque is for less than £1000.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Social Commentary

      Sorry, Nationwide doesn't do photo-cheques. Nor has any plans to.

  4. xyz

    Err because MS...

    can't spell cheque.. Oh BTW cheque in Català is xec (pronounced the same though).

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Err because MS...

      Do they still take caix?

      1. Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

        Re: Err because MS...

        Caix? Do you mean cakes? Yes, I accept cakes as part payment on account. Bottles of beer also.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Err because MS...

      You might not be aware that in the US they have a slightly different language to us. One often has a checking account.

      1. Dave Pickles

        Re: Err because MS...

        Indeed. While we might pay a bill with a cheque, they pay a check with a bill.

  5. AlanSh

    Spelling!!!

    I always thought El Reg was a British publication. Obviously not!

    <<<Where's Dabbsy???>>>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Spelling!!!

      Moans about El Reg not being British

      Uses "El" which is Spanish.

      1. drand

        Re: Spelling!!!

        Ye Olde Register then? Everyone knows that's British, cor blimey guv'nor etc.

        1. matjaggard

          Re: Spelling!!!

          You mean Þe olde Register.

      2. Will Godfrey Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Spelling!!!

        Commiserations on your loss of sense of humour

        P.S. At last I've found an excuse for that icon.

      3. James Anderson

        Re: Spelling!!!

        El is in fairly common idiom in British English. I believe it started during “El Tels” ( Terry Venables) stint as manager of Barcelona.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do they accept Czechs?

    1. Smeagolberg

      As Ian Hislop said, after one of his very few (only?) losses in a libel case, "I've just given a fat cheque to a fat Czech".

  7. tatatata

    Archaic systems

    Here in the Netherlands, we stopped using cheques/betaalkaarten when the euro was introduced. Most counties in the EU are phasing-out this archaic way of transferring money. In France, you might still see signs "paiement par chèque n'est pas accepté" and perhaps old people still using it. But it is definitely a thing of the past there too.

    It rather surprises me, that the US is so far behind that they still use checks on apparently a regular basis.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Archaic systems

      Wait, I thought 'betaalkaarten' was Dutch for credit cards?

      Anyway, cheques I don't miss. AFAIK it's now mandatory in Belgium for every trader to accept electronic payments, but given that nobody bothers to verify the "it's not working today" excuse I don't think it has been the sucess they thought it to be.

      Also, given the frequent bank errors and *cough* "sophisticated" *cough* hacking that takes place I still think it's not a bad idea to have cash around, although I welcome any attempt to make car clamping companies accept a traceable form of payment.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Archaic systems

      Ah, because the Netherlands has of course used all that revenue from the wealth tax to ensure that those who, for whatever reason, are unable to afford or use Internet banking are properly catered for within the banking system... Even old people - if they can get to the shops - can use contactless payment cards. But it's not this sort of transaction for which cheques are useful.

      Forcing all tradesmen / companies to accept payment cards is another way of ensuring that the banking sector is accessible to all, and now thanks to the many cheap / portable payment terminals that can be had it's not necessarily massively expensive. But that's like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut; most trademen's customers can do ebanking, so having to have a special piece of equipment to cater for those who cannot is overkill when a simple paper cheque would achieve the same end result. Paper is greener too, if it avoids manufacturing and barely using a large number of card reader machines.

    3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Archaic systems

      In the UK, and possibly in other places, banks have a legal obligation to act on written instructions from their customers. In the past they had to deal with these scribbled on scrap paper, or perhaps on soiled napkins after a late night gambling and drinking session. Cheques were introduced as a way to make sure that written instructions were clear and legible. For as long as the legal obligation exists I'd expect some form of cheque-like documents to remain.

  8. Marty McFly Silver badge
    Trollface

    Dare I say the word 'Bitcoin"?

    No, no, no, just set aside all your hatred for a second, m'kay?

    Funds can be transferred on the blockchain in minutes across the globe with 100% certainty & availability. No more 'waiting for the check to clear' or 'waiting for the ACH to process'. The funds arrived, period.

    Want to get really crazy? Use the Lightning Network to take the transactions down to milliseconds.

    You can hate crypto currency all you want, but it does solve this problem rather well.

    1. Smeagolberg

      Re: Dare I say the word 'Bitcoin"?

      >You can hate crypto currency all you want, but it does solve this problem rather well.

      I think it's transfer of 0s and 1s over the wires that solves(*) the problem. Cryptocurrency is merely one example of such use, and a latecomer at that.

      (*) Cryptocurrency also takes fraud and loss into the 21st Century at 'light speed', as they say. You have been following the cryptocurrency news in recent years, haven't you? You know, it's a bit like banks' use of digital transfers, but unregulated and with no recourse when fraudsters do their thing...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dare I say the word 'Bitcoin"?

      You can hate crypto currency all you want

      I don't hate crypto currencies as such, what bothers me is the exact lack of control and assurances that crypto nerds celebrate as a benefit that I see being abused to milk the dumb ones. Add to that that its main use is to pay criminals and launder money and that "mining" it as well as each actual distributed transaction cost a frankly irresponsible amount of energy and compouting resources and you can keep it.

      Technically interesting (and not even that new), but it's still in search of a real problem to solve.

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