‘Easy’ checking rankles some businesses | VailDaily.com

‘Easy’ checking rankles some businesses

Scott N. Miller
Vail, CO, Colorado

AVON ” Becky Rio likes her bank. But she’ll understand if a business won’t take her checks.

Rio uses Academy Bank, the local office of which is in the Avon Wal-Mart store, mainly because of the convenience of being able to bank where she shops. She also likes her free debit card ” which she uses instead of checks ” and the fact her bank is open seven days a week.

Academy Bank ” which didn’t respond to calls for this story ” makes it easy to open an account. Maybe too easy, Rio said.

An Academy Bank “Totally Free” checking account can be opened with no money, and the bank doesn’t run credit checks on customers, a standard practice in the industry. However, it’s not the only large bank that doesn’t require credit checks from new customers. Bank of America also has accounts for people without credit histories.

But Academy Bank’s policies don’t go over well with some local store owners.

“There are a lot of places that won’t take checks from them,” Rio said. “There are a lot of people walking around with checks.”

The manager of the Shop n’ Hop store in Eagle-Vail didn’t want to be named, but he confirmed his store won’t take checks from Academy Bank. He acknowledged that many of the store’s bad checks come from people with accounts there.

“I’d guess 95 percent of our bad checks have come from there,” Beaver Liquors owner David Courtney said. “We choose not to take their checks.”

Other businesses in Avon make a different choice.

“We’ve never been told not to take them,” said Kate Mohler, a bartender at the Brass Parrot in Avon. Clerks at Avon Liquor and Pier 13 Liquor in Eagle-Vail ” who didn’t want their names used ” confirmed those stores accept checks from all local banks, including Academy.

The same is true at Bob’s Place in Avon.

“People will leave a check when they leave, but normally we don’t take checks with a series number under 1,000,” said Chris Doyle.

Those higher-numbered checks mean a customer has a history with his or her bank or has passed a credit check, Doyle said.

“Most people use credit or debit cards anyway,” Doyle said. “This is the first I’ve heard anything about Academy.”

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 748-2930 or smiller@vaildaily.com.

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