What Exactly is an eCheck? Do I Need to Send in an Actual Check?
While online gamblers have used paper checks for quite some time as a backup deposit method (especially at sportsbooks), the echeck removes the need for a physical check. It's basically the digital equivalent of the paper check, providing all of the information that your bank needs to process the payment without requiring any physical record of the transaction.
In terms of the actual mechanics of an echeck, it works just like any other electronic funds transfer (EFT). If you've ever used a service like Bill Pay or similar to pay the cable bill directly from your checking account, then you've effectively used echecks before. There's nothing that mysterious about it; you basically give a merchant the right to deduct a certain amount from your bank account much the same way you do when you swipe your debit card at the store.
What Information Should I Need to Submit an eCheck Deposit at a Poker Room?
You should be prepared to provide your bank account number and routing number, along with accountholder information. You may need to provide a copy of your ID or some other documentation verifying your identity. This is a fairly standard request all poker rooms - not just US poker sites - make to combat fraudulent charges.
Once you provide this information, you shouldn't need to provide it again for subsequent transactions. If you'd prefer that the room not store this information, simply contact support and ask for it to be purged after each transaction. You'll have to enter all of your details each time you make a deposit, but that's a relatively minor inconvenience.
Am I Putting Myself at Risk By Depositing With eChecks?
As we say in all of our guides, engaging in any sort of financial transaction (online or off) involves some level of risk. The best policy that players can follow is to always assume this risk is valid and behave accordingly. If you're worried about the security involved in using echecks, for example, the just create an entirely separate bank account for poker purposes. If you are worried about security at a particular room, do your own research - and don't be afraid to listen to that instinct and take your action to a different room where you feel more comfortable.
How do eChecks Compete With Other Deposit Methods?
Players from the US have a lot to like about echecks, but there's one big problem: They are not a widely available deposit method. Only a handful of US online poker sites take echecks as of the time this guide was written, and that list is always in flux.
If you're not able to find a room you like that offers echecks for deposits, you're not out of options. Major US online poker sites offer players a wide range of ways to make a deposit, including major credit cards, prepaid cards, and money transfer - along with a handful of custom methods. To review your options at a given online poker room, send an email or start a chat with support. Within minutes, you'll have all of the information you need to help you to decide what your best choice is for depositing at an online poker site.