Technology—Property: Common ¢ents for Lawyers: Go from Paper to Bytes with Payment Processing Software

Technology—Property provides information on current technology and microcomputer software of interest in the real property area. The editors of Probate & Property welcome information and suggestions from readers.

In the 1950s television series “The Millionaire,” each episode opened with unseen benefactor John Beresford Tipton, Jr. reaching for a $1 million cashier’s check and handing it to his executive secretary for hand-delivery to a hapless recipient. The transformation caused by receipt of this anonymous paper check formed the plot of each episode. As a boy, I watched the show in reruns. To this day, the printed check holds a certain awe and mystery for me. I relish the ability to hold the money in my hand before the check is deposited, as proof positive of the work I have done.

And yet, when I turn to my millennial son and ask him about checks, he confesses that he has barely any experience with paper checks. He envisions the paper check as an instrument of potential fraud. He would rather the money just appear in his bank account. Checks can require a trip to the bank and involve a delay in receipt of funds as the check “clears”—if it does, in fact, clear. Checks take time to be printed, signed, mailed, and delivered; they can be lost in the mail. When you are expecting a check, you often have to follow up with the payor to ensure timely delivery. My son far prefers direct bank deposits.

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