Debit Cards

Checks are gradually being phased out by debit cards – and for good reason.  Checks do allow people to pay bills and make purchases without cash on hand, which is convenient.  Checks also allow us to have physical documentation of our purchases which may help keep a consistent budget.  So why are checks being replaced by debit cards.

In short, debit cards can do what checks do – better and faster.

Debit cards give buyers instant access to their checking accounts when making purchases and are generally accepted everywhere.  This is not the case with checks.  Due to dishonest and irresponsible spending many businesses do not accept personal checks, but will still take a debit card because if the account does not have enough funds for a purchase it can be denied instantly.  Therefore using debit cards benefit businesses and consumers both by preventing “hot” checks and over-drafting fees.

Debit cards save time. I am not just talking about the obvious seconds saved in a checkout line between a swiped card and writing a check. But added up over time this is quite significant.  Because in this day and age time is such a precious commodity to people we should should find ways to save time when we can even when doing stressful things like paying bills.  Paying bills is not only stressful, but can be quite time consuming and burdensome to keep up with.  Especially considering that the amount of bills we pay are increasing.  We are responsible for house payments, car payments, cable, internet, phone, cell phone, student loan, utilities, and probably several others.  So instead of taking the time to write seven or eight checks a month, why not have that money directly withdrawn from your account using your debit card.  All it takes is filling out one form and you can choose the amount and the date that is withdrawn each month.  You are able to keep tabs on it easily through online banking.  No more paying late fees because your mail was misplaced, or you forgot to reorder checks or buy stamps.  Debit cards are the convenient way to pay your bills.

Some may argue they stick with checks so they can keep tabs on how much they spend.  That does not hold weight with me.  You can track every check card purchase using online banking.  You no longer need to wait for monthly statements; you can check your balance whenever you need.  Transactions appear on your statement almost instantaneously.  Balancing a checkbook is an activity of the past; your online statement automatically does this for you.  

With a debit card there is no need to re-order anything, and if you are just a fan of customized checks you will be pleased to know that many banks offer customized debit cards as well.  There is nothing a check can do that a debit card does not do better.  It is time for society as a whole to embrace the debit card, and do away with time wasting, paper wasting checks.