Who still pays by cheque, anyway?
What’s that old Jerry Seinfeld joke, about how cheques are like a note from your mother saying, “I don’t have any money, but if you contact these people … they’ll stick up for me”?
Yeah, that seems pretty fitting here.
As the holiday shopping season rapidly approaches (or churns on, depending how you look at it), it’s become increasingly apparent no one is paying by personal cheque at stores anymore.
Because, why would we? The convenience of cheques is not what it once was, and – as Seinfeld suggests – their triviality makes them a significant security threat to boot.
Cheque fraud is a costly problem for the retail industry, and so with the number of shoppers choosing to offer them declining, a good chunk of retailers appear ready to do away with the method of payment altogether.
According to the Dallas Morning News, consumers “(shouldn’t) be surprised” to find stores aren’t accepting cheques this holiday season. Major chains like Lululemon Athletica and Gap are a few of the growing list trying to do without the whole pay-by-cheque thing already.
In fact, there isn’t much reason to suggest retailers should continue to accept cheques, anyway.
A recent National Retail Federation survey shows only 4 per cent of shoppers say they’d use cheques to pay for gifts these holidays – and even that number may be a bit skewed.
Among youths, at least, the realization that plastic is king has become overwhelming. A “miniscule” 0.3 per cent of 18-to-24-year-olds still pay by cheque (compared to 1.4 per cent of 25-to-34-year-olds), says the Morning News, and it’s clear which means they prefer.
A landslide number of under-40 shoppers pay by debit or credit, and about 70.3 per cent of consumers as a whole choose plastic, the survey found.
So, who then keeps insisting to pay by cheque? Who has the fortitude to keep an impatient line waiting while they painstakingly write out a slip at the cash register?
You guessed it.
Of shoppers 65 and older, 9.8 per cent continue to pay by cheque. God help us all.
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Posted by: Dr. J. Steed | Nov 27, 2021 12:03:38 PM
Although most of my payments are done by credit card, debit card or on-line, many companies I deal with only accept cheques or cash, and I don't mail cash.
Posted by: Ed | Nov 27, 2021 1:41:38 PM
Jason Buckland forgets that to pay some bills you have to mail a cheque. You cannot mail a credit card or a debit card. Some of us still think that the internet is not a safe place to do your banking. The world does not revolve around shopping only and there are many transactions that can only be completed most conveniently by cheque. God help us all if anybody would listen to Jason Buckland's rants!
Posted by: Joe | Nov 27, 2021 2:13:50 PM
Perhaps if the banks gave us an option to set up payments without cheques we would all be better off. Oh yeah; I forgot....They do. Get rid of personal cheques. If you have a bank account and there is sufficient funds available......Pay your bill by debit or autowithdraw. If you don't have a bank account then there's usually a reason. And that reason is usually that you're the seedy kite cheque passing type we are all trying to get rid of anyway. In that event...pay cash with whats left of your paycheck after you pay the loansharks to cash it for you. Merry X-mas to all...
Posted by: G Heintz | Nov 27, 2021 4:12:23 PM
What hasn't been considered is that cheques provide a superior form for charitable organizations to receive donations. Visa and Mastercard are not generous enough to allow for charitable organizations to receive funds without taking their pound of flesh. I know that by writing a cheque, the charity is further ahead with my donation.
Posted by: David | Nov 27, 2021 5:44:35 PM
I pay all utility type bills and many other bills by cheque and will continue to do so until the legal system enters the 21st century. I've seem endless debates about "confirmation numbers" but the discussion abruptly ends when you show them a cancelled cheque. Funny how that is eh?
Posted by: karra | Nov 27, 2021 6:18:08 PM
I've often been in a store when the cashier says "sorry our machines are down right now, we can only accept cash or cheques." What a bummer if you have $80 of groceries and they're only accepting cash.
Good point about the charities too.
Also most small renovation businesses around here and other small businesses like my own (tutoring) aren't set up for credit or debit cards, so cheques are preferred.
Posted by: cashman | Nov 27, 2021 6:35:58 PM
We haven't used cheques or plastic or debit cards for years and I am often surprised at retail businesses that would rather I didn't pay with cash. In Canada Amex charges small business a 5% fee for accepting their credit card.
Posted by: eric | Nov 27, 2021 6:46:29 PM
Although the usage of cheques may well be in the decline for all the obvious reasons it is unfortunate that the author feels it necessary to make a disparaging remark directed at the seniors within our society. This too is another sign of the times we live in. Next time you are held up in line take a deep breath and show some respect.
Posted by: Galen | Nov 27, 2021 7:10:26 PM
Why should one use a credit card when the cost to the retailer is about 7% ?
Use cash or a cheque AND request a 7% reduction in the cost.
Some common sense must prevail in the current economic carryon.
Also, it ios just too easy to spend that hard earned cash when using plastic - use cash and see how far the buck goes.
Posted by: anyminutenow | Nov 27, 2021 11:54:57 PM
Yah, the credit card companies are charging retailers around 7% and charging you up to 19%. So they're getting 26%. Not too shabby!! Good racket.
Posted by: Stacy | Nov 28, 2021 11:23:10 PM
Cheques are not the greatest but they do still serve a need. I have just used up the last of my cheques - they had 19 preprinted in the year slot. I do need to order more however because when you have a child many fees, eg. team sports deposits, playschool deposits, local activity classes, etc. only accept cheques. Businesses especially use them constantly. When you are ordering product for tens of thousands of dollars suppliers are not going to let you pay with credit card and take a 2-2.5% hit, (I have never heard of 7%, Amex is ridiculously high though at usually around 4-5%) and it is a little difficult to fly thousands of miles to swipe your debit card for a transaction. I do almost all my personal bill payments with auto withdrawal or credit card but most suppliers are not set up for that and I don't really trust e-mail payments. As a brick and mortar business though I would never accept them as they basically say to me "I don't actually have the money right now." because everyone who would use a cheque in that instance should be able to pay with debit, if the money is in the account.
Posted by: Nosh | Nov 29, 2021 8:12:07 PM
working for a bank i've learned a few things.
Those who adjust well to technology pay MOSTLY online, use cash, credit card, pre authorized payments (automatic payments using the same encoding that is on your cheques).The only reason i can think of paying by cheque is if youre dealing with someone who cannot be 100% trusted, and you want to give them a post dated cheque so they don't have the authority to take a payment from you automatically each month(because the only way to stop PAP's is by having that person contact their bank). Old fashioned people pay by cheque for EVerything. For the person who mentioned legal reasons....scanned copies on bank statements are considered legal proof so that argument is not valid. For charity's, pay online and you'l get a receipt. Cheques are a dying breed and will eventually become obsolete....but not for a while because there are still a lot of people who insist on using them....even though most of the time they are not needed. People just dont like change.
Posted by: Ralph Rack | Nov 29, 2021 10:07:53 PM
Paying by auto credit card payment and by auto bank payment are full of fraud, embezzlement, theft and overchargeing or charging twice. Then they say we'll correct it 90 days but they have your money for 90 days and aren't paying you interest. Any business, service ie water, gas, cable, telephone etc. that won't accept a cheque maybe should be forced to accept cash at any of their offices and give a receipt. Oh, municipal services say they won't let you into their offices for security reasons AND I DON'T TRUST THEM.
Posted by: kiramatalishah | Jan 9, 2022 3:57:25 AM
Often we forget the little guy, the SMB, in our discussions of the comings and goings of the Internet marketing industry. Sure there are times like this when a report surfaces talking about their issues and concerns but, for the most part, we like to talk about big brands and how they do the Internet marketing thing well or not so well.