Should You Still Accept Checks As Payments?
Updated: Mar 19
The following is an article “Should You Still Checks As Payments?” by Marc Primo.
You have probably shifted to the digital way of life for convenience’s sake along with the rest of the world. Today, payments are mostly made without any cash as more and more are resorting to the purchasing power of credit or debit cards, and online payments.
However, some companies still request for check payments from customers as they are yet to enable processing via credit or debit card due to entailing costs. For others, opting for check payments prove to be more convenient because it has always been the way they do business.
But just how useful are checks today? A Federal Reserve Payments research has found out that check payments were nearing extinction way back in 2013 with a decline from the 30 billion range to 19.7 billion in a span of a decade. While this is true, you may not want to hide your checkbooks just yet. For one, it allows you to easily track your purchases and your funds as your bank gains a copy of your canceled checks once they clear up.
To know the real security features of your checks, you first have to know what those 21 digits printed on them are for. The first nine digits in your checks are your bank’s routing numbers designed for easier and safer processing, and the following eight digits make up your account number. Another four digits match the check number at the top of each check, which comes in sequential order. Identifying your bank and account through these check numbers make it more convenient for you to track money coming in or out of your account.
Checks allow you to be more disciplined in making purchases more than plastic cards do. Plus checks still offer some benefits no other payment options can. Aside from making transactions more secure for you, accepting check payments allow you to do away with convenience fees and you won’t have to rely on the internet. If your bank offers checking accounts, it may be a good idea to request for a checkbook. According to the Pew Research Center, more than 10% of adults are not really keen on making online payments and prefer to pay in cash or checks.
You should know though that checks don’t come for free as you still have to pay for fees. And since this form of payment method comes before the digital age, processing of payments via checks may take time as they only begin when you encash the check in the bank. Some also require three banking days for checks to clear.
Nevertheless, do get accustomed to accepting other forms of payment while you’re at it as checks may soon be on the way out. Todays’ Millennials and Generation Z are more and more inclined to use cards or online payments than cash or checks as they are fast and are getting more reliable. Security for online transactions is already on a high today, not to mention the manner how you can check your accounts instantly can win you over anytime. As digital payments continue to evolve, checks might just be on its way out in a few years from now.