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D+H is now owned by a U.S. firm…what that means for your cheques

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Canadian cheque printer Davis-Henderson, known as D+H, has agreements with almost every bank in Canada.

They also print QuickBooks Cheques for Intuit in Canada.

If you order your cheques chances are you’re paying D+H to print them one way or another.

They are THE name in cheque printing across the nation.

But, now they’re no longer Canadian. They were recently purchased by a U.S. private equity firm, Vista Equity Partners.

What does that mean for you and your cheques?

Well, let’s take a look at their Q1 financial statement and see what they say…

"Our strategy is to build market-leading positions in payment and lending technologies. Lending and payments are key growth sectors of the financial services industry. We aim to reinforce these positions with integrated technology solutions that deliver increasing value to our clients. We have been executing on the strategy over the past several years as we have evolved from a Canadian cheque supplier to a leading participant in the global Financial Technology market." Source.

As you can see, they see themselves evolving AWAY from cheque printing.

The report then goes on to outline their strategy for 3 critical segments of their business.

Cheques are never mentioned.

Cheques are being phased out.

They mention the word “cheques” 22 times in their report, and almost always near the words “decline” or “decrease.”

They are milking the cheque side of their business for as much profit as they can get.

How are they doing it?

Well, if you look D+H’s recent cheque changes, you’ll see that their commitment to their cheque customers is on the decline.

  • They recently cut back on the number of security features they offer their customers…no more holograms for example
  • They are closing their Quebec plant
  • They recently cut back on the number of designs and colors they provide their customers.
  • And their prices keep climbing. Recently, we saw:
  • $57 for 50 personal cheques
  • $141 for 200 business cheques
  • $185 for 250 QuickBooks voucher cheques

And their service? Let’s say it’s less than stellar…customers often wait 10 business days to get their cheques…sometimes as much as three weeks! And dealing with their customer service can be an aggravating experience.

How can D+H get away with cutting back features, providing shoddy service, and charging high prices?

The main reason they can get away with it is that most Canadians don’t realize they have options.

Check out this exchange on a Reddit thread about cheque prices…

Why Are Cheques So Expensive? Technically, it's just a piece of template paper that has a few changes on it, but after the first time, it's just the reusing for the template. So why do cheques in Canada cost almost a dollar a cheque?

Because it’s a profit source for banks?

Wow, I never even considered that this would be a thing. It makes sense... There's no reason someone else can't print your account number on a piece of paper I guess!

So, what can you expect from D+H after their acquisition by a US firm?

More of the same. You can expect them to continue driving my prices, delivering less value and cutting back on customer service.

Cheques are not a part of their future. They hope that customers continue to believe they have no option but to pay their high prices, lack of options, and declining service levels.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that Canadians DO have options when it comes to cheques printing.

You can order them from 3rd party companies too, where they are significantly cheaper, and there are some "print your own" options.

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