Is the chequebook quickly being consigned to history?
More and more, banking and personal financial transactions are moving farther from brick, mortar and piles of paper, and closer to being totally digital.
Everyday brings a new financial app or program focused on engaging consumers electronically, often through their mobile phones.
Starting next month, anyone applying for U.S. government benefits or pensions will automatically receive their payments electronically, while those already receiving paper cheques will need to switch to direct deposit by 2013.
And the state of Georgia is mailing debit cards instead to tax-refund cheques to select residents under a pilot program.
This is all bad news if you’re the company that prints those paper cheques, however. So, it’s not that surprising that Deluxe Corp, one of the largest cheque manufacturers in North America, is fighting back.
According to its research, 75 per cent of consumers want the freedom to pay however they choose, and that 38 per cent say they would walk out or not return to a store or restaurant that didn't accept a cheque.
And they even have their own poster boy: Duncan Steele, a.k.a. "The Man with Checks Appeal" who’s out there fighting for your right to pay the old fashioned way in supermarkets, restaurants, and even, apparently, convenient stores.
I suppose there are still some people -- businesses looking to play with the float, parents who don’t want to give Johnny the cash for the book fair ... my mother -- who still write paper cheques, but when was the last time a supermarket cashier took your personal script?
Do you think the days of the cheque are still numbered? Do you still use them? Or will large payments like rent, utility bills and person to person payments keep the industry alive?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
* Follow Gordon on Twitter here.
Posted by: Rob | Apr 28, 2021 12:24:25 PM
When I was younger I used to use cheques to buy groceries a couple of days before I got paid because I was broke and there was always that 2 day lag from when you write the cheque to when it is cashed, so it was a bit of a free payday loan.
I rarely write personal cheques now. Most places that I need to give money to either take debit or credit cards, which are far more convenient for me and the vendor. My mortgage and other big bills are automatically paid directly from my account. The biggest reason that I dislike cheques is the amount of time it takes for the money to be removed from my account - sometimes weeks depending on when the receiver deposits it. So, when a cheque is required (for school pictures or something) I usually get a money order instead.
However, for my business I still write cheques when it does not make sense to set up direct deposit: for casual labour or one off payments.
I think cheques still have their place, but definitely limited compared to times passed, and as the new generation, who may have never actually written a personal cheque, become the dominant force in the economy I can see cheques disappearing entirely, especially for personal use.
Posted by: Jeff | Apr 28, 2021 2:41:05 PM
I think cheques will continue especially for businesses where a complete paper trail can be a necessity and many people still do not have bank accounts where direct payments could be made. That is why cheque cashing places can be found in all cities.
Personal cheques on the other hand may find their days limited simply because it is more convenient to pay bills through online banking or at your branch. Personally I prefer talking to a flesh and blood individual as opposed to dealing over the internet when paying bills. I do not have a debit card and have no intention of getting one. My gf recently had her account emptied by someone who managed to get her card and number, something I do not have to worry about.
Posted by: Cheryl | Apr 29, 2021 12:51:58 PM
I really hope cheques are here to stay. Since my daughter and I deal with different banks, she writes me a cheque to cover any money she owes me. My other daughter gives me the cash to pay her cell bill, and the bank will not let me auto pay because the phone is in her name, so I write a cheque. My lawn care people want me to sign up for EFT but I won't because the contract auto renews. If I don't write a cheque, they do not come until a cheque is received. This way I get better deal because I look elsewhere for service. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of bills that are paid directly, tele banking etc, but, sometimes cheques are necessary. For example, the huge blackout a few years back, no power. No way to access any ATM, computer to pay bills and if you do not have a landline phone, when cell phone dies, you have no phone. I can always write a cheque.
Posted by: Donna | Apr 29, 2021 5:42:08 PM
Cheques are still a necessity. I live in a Mobile Home Park and pay my Pad Rent with 6 months at a time post-dated cheques. Since we pay our Rent by depositing cheques into a lock box on the Manager's Front Porch, I would not like to take a chance paying by cash!!! Who knows whose pocket the cash would end of in?
Posted by: eric | Apr 29, 2021 7:37:13 PM
Cheques still have their place. I do not like giving my account details to every company requesting same for the purposes of an automatic monthly payment. In the event there is an error in the monthly amount (ie. clerical or fraud ) the improper amount is withdrawn before you are aware of the situation and you are now in the position to have to chase after your money. With a cheque you see the invoice, essentially endorse the amount is correct and write out a cheque. If the invoice is incorrect you now have the option to sort out the correct amount with the other party without anyone having access to your funds.
Posted by: Dr. J. S. | Apr 29, 2021 11:22:25 PM
Some transactions still must be made with cheques. I would like to see the end of this, but probably not in my lifetime.
Posted by: John | May 1, 2021 5:00:37 PM
A bill collector justified or not can seize your bank funds before a court appearance. Should your only income be your pension (legally unattachable) which is deposited into your account . . . . bingo they have your pension funds!
Posted by: Drapery King Toronto | May 1, 2021 6:46:50 PM
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Posted by: Giuliano | May 1, 2021 11:35:58 PM
People should have the right to use what they want to pay,and no goverment or bank should tell the people what to do and when to do it,why is it now that everyone has to do everything on the internet? specially with all the fraud that is going on the internet,the internet is NOT safe.
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