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Earlier this year, the U.S. Postal Service posted a warning about mailing paper checks, citing an alarming rise in mail fraud. While mail theft has doubled, so have reports of check fraud, with 680,000 reports in 2022, up from 300,000 in 2021.

It doesn’t matter who is stealing the checks out of the mail. What does matter is learning about the options for your organization to use instead of them. An obvious solution to the issue of mailing checks would be to deliver them in person. However, when organizations process hundreds of thousands of checks each month to their vendors and suppliers, it is not feasible or geographically possible for an AP department to handle this task.

Enter digital payment solutions! Coupled with outbound payment automation, digital payments can help ensure vendor payment protection and your organization's security.

Why the Paper Check Problem 

3.4 billion Americans wrote a check for payment in 2022. Paper checks offer an easy way for thieves and fraudsters to steal sensitive data such as the routing and account numbers from organizations and individuals. The information is printed right there on the check! Contact information, physical addresses and signatures that could potentially be duplicated are right there for the taking. Cutting the use of paper checks is the first step to safeguard any organization. Here, we look at what payment methods organizations can replace them with.

Virtual Card 

Increasing in popularity among AP departments, virtual cards offer a fast and secure way to pay invoices. In fact, global virtual card volume is expected to reach $6.8B by 2026!

Virtual cards are single-use cards that can be used to pay vendors. Organizations can set expiration dates and spending limits, offering complete control over card information and making it challenging for bad actors to steal.

Additionally, virtual cards can earn organizations valuable rebates from their use. One of REPAY’s clients was able to add $750,000 to their bottom line in annualized rebates.

Credit Card

Credit cards have been a go-to payment option for AP for many years. They offer fraud liability protections since they are not directly linked to a bank account, meaning the card issuer pays for the transaction in the event of fraud. Safeguards such as EMV chips, address verification systems (AVS) and card verification values (CVV) help further protect transactions.

However, things can spiral if a credit card falls into the wrong hands. If a scammer has access to these few basic identifying pieces, they can wreak havoc on any business using phishing attacks, malware, RFID collection and other means. The Dark Web Marketplace reported giving away data from 1.2M stolen credit cards in 2022 alone.


ACH, or automated clearing house, are transactions that use an organization’s bank account to send funds for payment. Unlike paper checks, the routing and account numbers are used electronically, reducing the touchpoints to the data and protecting the information behind secure payment gateways.

ACH transactions can be targeted for phishing scams and data breaches. All it takes is one employee to accidentally put the data into the wrong hands for funds to be stolen directly from an organization’s bank account.

Optimizing & Securing Outbound Payments with Digital Methods

With check fraud estimated to reach $24B in 2023, it is essential for organizations to digitize how they pay their vendors and suppliers now.

Enhanced Security

Eliminating paper checks reduces the risk of theft, fraud and unauthorized alterations. Tools such as encryption and authentication can safeguard payment data.

Streamlined Efficiency

Digital payments are processed more quickly than paper checks to improve cash flow and reduce time-consuming manual tasks and errors.

Increased Visibility

Using digital payments can offer realtime tracking and reporting. Organizations can use this information to simplify reconciliation and better forecast for the future.

Eliminate Your Paper Problem With REPAY

As made apparent, paper checks are causing organizations headaches that can be easily avoided when using digital payments. REPAY offers digital payment methods to protect every organization, ensuring the security and integrity of AP payments. Integrate a virtual card program to your existing ERP and take advantage of automation capabilities that can give even the busiest AP teams time back in their day.

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