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In 1922, after immigrating from Canada, Aloysius J. Uniack (Al) established a small business specializing in providing check printing services for the banking industry. He appropriately named the business Bank Printing Company. It was located on Maple Street, near the corner of 9th Street, in the Los Angeles, California financial district. Al drove his Model T Ford up and down the coast of California taking orders for checks from banks for their savings account passbooks, share drafts and other related financial documents. Bank Printing Company established a fine reputation for premier quality checks and check related products. Under Al's direction and dedication the company grew rapidly.
During the late 1940's, Bank of America wanted to offer checking accounts to all of their depositors. In those days checking accounts were only offered to very large deposit customers. This was because there was no automatic way to sort and route checks back to their originating banks. Checks had to be hand sorted using the fractional routing and transit numbers that still appear on the upper right hand corner of checks.
The Bank of America funded a team of engineers at the California Institute of Technology and Stanford University who worked together and invented the system that is now known as M.I.C.R or "Magnetic Image Character Recognition". This system uses high-speed check reader-sorters, scanners and special numbers printed with magnetic ink along the lower edge of checks.
Bank of America chose Bank Printing Company and one other check printing company to develop the printing press technology to print the new magnetic numbers on checks. Bank Printing Company accomplished this task successfully and subsequently received orders from Bank of America for all of its millions of depositors. Bank Printing Company remained Bank of America's contract check printer for decades. As other banks rapidly obtained the new MICR check technology Bank Printing Company was awarded many more bank check contracts nationally. The household checkbook became commonplace.
In 1959 Aloysius J. Uniack passed away leaving his three adult sons who continued to run the large family business.
In 1967 as fashion stationery was gaining popularity Bank Printing Company was the first check printer to introduce check designs as an option to plain blue safety checks. Most banks across the country sought out the new designer checks as their depositors were clamoring for them, differentiating Bank Printing Company again as a leader and innovator in the check printing industry.
During the late 1970's banks started marking-up or retailing checks to their captive checking account customers. At the same time the banks began pressing their captive check printers down on their prices, in order to increase the difference they paid the printer and the amount they charged the depositor. Check printing became a huge profit center for banks and the mark-ups increased. The banks were also beginning to charge fees for all of their services. This has not changed and is growing steadily today.
The Uniack brothers were not pleased with the banks pressuring their company to lower their prices to unreasonable levels while raising their mark-ups to their depositors substantially. They also recognized that consumers were becoming intolerant of these mark-ups but had no alternative but to pay the banks prices for their checks.
In 1986 the FIRST direct-to-consumer check printing company was formed at Bank Printing Company, Inc. Checks were offered directly to consumers at Bank Printing Company's prices and marketed through mass media advertising. This new business solved a problem for consumers and was phenomenally successful. Consumers seemed pleased to have a choice ... and learn that it is perfectly all right to bypass the middleman (the bank), and buy checks directly from the check printer to save money. Since 1986 other traditional check printers have followed Bank Printing Company's lead and have formed their own direct to consumer divisions.
Bank Printing Company is known today as CheckWorks.com. Order your Personal Checks or Business Checks online and save money today!