If you are someone who still writes a lot of checks you need to get out of the dark ages , put down the pen and checkbook and read on. Or if you are just wondering how I can make such a bold statement and say using and writing checks are obsolete then read on and find out. For the sake of sanity and this article, I’ll push aside the feelings I have when I’m waiting in line for 20 minutes behind some goof who is writing out a check and slowing everyone up and focus on logical and practical reasons why using checks is no longer something we should be doing in our fast paced, technologically advanced society.
Lets break it down and take a look at different reasons why checks are going the way of the 8 track one at a time.
First there is the issue of security, which of course is the reason why most modern banking exists today. After all there is a lot of money moving through a lot of hands every day and good reason to secure these transactions. Take a look at the so called ‘secure check’. Sure some of you may say that writing checks for transacations is great for your own record keeping and tracking spending, but it is also great for anyone else who wants some of your money. Consider this, every time you pay with a check whether it is via mail or in person your check is handled or seen by at least 6 people. That is 6 people who will clearly see not only your name and possibly address but also your checking account number and your routing numbers. Together these two numbers can be used either to make fake checks or make checking account purchases online with your checks. Then again out of all these people handling your checks any one of them may opt to just sell off your check information to someone else.
This situation doesn’t even take into account what happens when checks get stolen or misplaced. Now your checking account information is out in the open and you’ll have no clue who has access to it. Having checks voided by the bank often carries a hefty fee and that won’t stop someone from using your account information anyways.
Then there is the financial downfalls to using and writing checks. If you are being paid by check they are great for record keeping but unless you have direct deposit your pay is often at the mercy of the postal service and the amount of time it takes your bank to clear a check.
Which takes me to the next point. Checks bounce or an overdraft occurs. If you deposit a check and then spend money thinking it cleared when it didn’t you are hit with overdraft fees and sometimes even fees by the merchant. With debit cards nearly eliminating any delay in transactions, using a debit card saves one money.
And how about time? Not only does writing a check at the checkout counter take up more of your time and the time of those waiting behind you, but receiving and cashing checks also takes time. I mean come on in the time it takes the average person to write out a check, then mark their checkbook, they could have paid cash or plastic and been halfway home.
Then there is accuracy. When checks are handwritten out the amounts and even to whom it is made out to can be debatable which can lead to lost checks, lost revenue for a business, lost money from your account, and even voided or bounced checks. Debit and credit cards are nearly bulletproof when it comes to this and when a mistake does occur not only can you have your written record to prove it you can also have online records in real time to help correct a mistake.
And lets not even get started with the issue of saving paper and waste. Electronic paying and even cash payments don’t come close to the amount of paper wasted in printing checks, mailing checks, and using checks. Checks aren’t only a pain for everyone involved, they also needlessly waste paper and printing resources when there are perfectly good alternatives to the old fashioned check.
Checks are obsolete and have no place in today’s marketplace. With security technology rapidly becoming more and more impenetrable and methods of paying become faster and more streamlined those that write checks and deal with checks on a daily basis are like dinosaurs lumbering around The Jetsons family. Secure your financial information, save money,save time,and save me from having to stand in line any longer then I have to.