Key Concepts and Terminology

This page describes key concepts and terminology you should know before working with the Checkbook platform.


Whether you come from a finance, financial technology, or other technical or non-technical background, having a clear understanding of key concepts and terminology will be important when using Checkbook. Although this technical documentation makes certain assumptions about what you know, and what you may not know, what is most important is that you understand these concepts clearly so you can take advantage of the various features Checkbook offers You may want to use Checkbook to send/receive payments, request or pay invoices, or even create your own marketplace to facilitate your own payments and invoices.

Key Concepts

Before working with Checkbook, you should familiarize yourself with the following concepts:

  • Payments
  • Invoices
  • Marketplaces

Each of these concepts is described in further detail in the sections below.


The concept of payments can be difficult to grasp because of the different types of payments that can be made using Checkbook, and the entire end-to-end payment flow for a given transaction. In simple terms, a payment is a transaction between two parties: the individual or entity making the payment (the payer), and the recipient of the payment (the payee). Checkbook facilitates this transaction by providing several different disbursement methods to send payments.

Sending Payments

Checkbook utilizes the following payment methods to send payments to recipients:

  • Automated Clearing House (ACH) / Wire
  • Mailed Checks
  • Printed Checks
  • Instant Pay
  • Virtual Cards

ACH / Wire

Checkbook utilizes the AACH network to process transactions between financial institutions. These bank-to-bank transactions can simplify payments and disbursements for individuals and business because each user trusts their financial institution to initiate and complete the transaction on their behlaf.

An important concept in ACH processing is the concept of "push" and "pull" payments. If you want to transfer money from your bank to another bank, you initiate the transfer and 'push' the money from your bank account to the other bank account. This is also known as an ACH Credit.

If, however, you want to a business or individual take money from your account (e.g., you want to pay a bill), you need to first authorize the transaction. Once you have authorized the transaction, the business or individual will "pull" money from your account. This is also referred to as an ACH Debit.

Note All ACH/Wire transactions require a prefunded account.

For more information on ACH processing, please see the ACH page in the Checkbook technical documentation.

Mailed Checks

Checkbook can also send a check using the mailed checks option. Checkbook creates a digital check and then sends it to you using your address on record. If you prefer this option, there are several different shipping options:

  • Standard USPS First class
  • Overnight
  • 2-day
  • Certified

Each of these methods has different delivery times and costs; however, this option can be useful if you do not have an existing bank account, or would simply prefer a physical check in lieu of a digital check.

For more information on mailed checks, please see the Paper Checks page in the Checkbook documentation.

Printed Checks

Also referred to as "digital checks," Checkbook can also send a payment electronically to you via PDF. you will receive an email with a PDF attachment. When you open the PDF attachment, you can then print the check if you want, or use the PDF for a mobile deposit into your bank account.

For more information about digital checks, please see the Digital Payments page in the Checkbook technical documentation.

Instant Pay

There may come a time when you may want to have a payment automatically sent to your ATM or debit card instead of your bank account. Because this is an immediate, real-time payment to a VISA or MaasterCard-branded debit or ATM card, you will have access to money immediately. Checkbook can send an instant payment by performing the steps listed below.

For more information about instant payments and push-to-card, please see the Instant Payments page in the Checkbook technical documentation.

Virtual Cards

Similar to the Instant Pay option, you may choose to have Checkbook send payments to a virtual card. A virtual card is a 16-digit card number that can be used to make online purchases, while also enabling you to manage you card on different devices (e.g. your wallet on your mobile device) This is a fast and easy way for you to have iummediate access to the payment.

For more information on virtual card payments, please see the Virtual Card page in the Checkbook technical documentation.

Receiving payments

While Checkbook enables payments to be sent from one individual or business to another, you can also use Checkbook to create invoices and request payments. Also referred to as a bill, an invoice is a request for payment for goods or services. Using the Checkbook platform, you can create an invoice and have it sent to a recipient. In return, you can also receive payments for invoices.

Creating/Sending Invoices

You can use Checkbook to create an invoice requesting payment from a recipient. When you create an invoice, you need to fill out the fields listed below.

  • Invoice amount
  • Description (this can be a memo or short description stating what the invoice is for)
  • Recipient name
  • Email address of the recipient

When you are finished, an invoice is created and then sent to your recipient's email address.

For more information on creating and sending invoices, please see the Send an Invoice page in the Checkbook technical documentation.

Paying an invoice

If your recipient already has an account with Checkbook, they can use Checkbook to pay the invoice. They simply need to open the email that Checkbook sent to their email address and click on the Send Check button to enable Checkbook to use their existing account information to send a digital check to you.

For more information on paying invoices, please see the Pay an Invoice page in the Checkbook documentation.


When you think of what a marketplace is, you may immediately think of eBay or Amazon; extremely large platforms where users can buy and sell goods. While this is correct, and these platforms are indeed marketplaces, the notion of a marketplace in Checkbook is a little different. With Checkbook's white label solution, a marketplace can be created that is individually tailored to the specific needs and requirements of a business or individual.

Checkbook faciliates payments through the marketplace by managing the transactional flows between users. This enables businesses and individuals to have Checkbook act as a custodian for the marketplace.


With technical innovations and the increase in mobile device adoption, many individuals and businesses now choose to use digital applications to manage certain financial transactions. A digital "wallet" is an application that runs on any connected device and enables you to initiate financial transactions. It securely stores your payment information and passwords in the cloud, and may be accessible from a computer. For example, mobile wallets, which are a subset of a wallet, are primarily used on mobile devices (e.g. Apple Pay, Samsung Pay)