“The first time Amelia Howells ever wrote a check, she was 28 years old and standing in a Connecticut apartment leasing office, with no idea what to do. The British expat had just moved to the U.S.; she’d never had to write a check in London or during her seven years in Switzerland (Robertson, Katie. ) .” “America is the largest country that still today writes checks. Americans on average in 2015 wrote 38 check transactions according to data from the bank of international settlements (Robertson, Katie).” while the other countries like Canada only wrote 18 or like the U.K only wrote 8, and Germany wrote almost near zero. Why is it that America can’t move away from checks?
The last big amendment we made to our check system was back in October 28,2004 which was check 21. Check 21 “is a federal law that is designed to enable banks to handle more checks electronically, which should make check processing faster and more efficient (Federal).” This act was made to help check processing faster and more efficient, but with the other alternatives, checks are just obsolete.
The older you are the more likely you are to still write checks like paying for groceries and gas. “If you live in a more rural community you are more likely to write more checks(Stennett).” The people who don’t have a bank account, known as unbanked people, also help raise the number of checks that Americans use because they most likely have to be paid with a paper check.
Where the most checks come from is a business to business transactions. Some businesses do preffer to use online electronic payment for better control, predictability, and visibility across accounts. Some of the reasons why companies stay with checks is that they contain more information’s than using an online like services. With the more information they have, they can easily match what payment with sold goods. Some companies benefit from how it takes a check longer than electronic payment. The additional time it takes for a check to make it through the mail to its destination gives the company more time gain money. If need be they could also benefit from interest on invested funds.
Person to person are moving to this technology age of receiving money. In the 21st century everyone has an email address or a valid cell phone number which with this criterion you can send money and receive money. One of the benefits is that you won’t need to make a new bank account. The transaction happens between each user’s current financial institution and sender’s mobile banking app. There are a few down sides to this, such as the older generation not always having a smart phone, or we have people that just don’t trust the online payment methods; they do have a higher fraud rate. We are even getting payments through our familiar apps that most people use every day like Facebook Messenger, Square, PayPal.
“31 percent of consumers now shop online at least once a week (united).” Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and most of the biggest retails have an online store this has affected the way we shop and pay. We also have the apps that let us mobile order and pay online. This is transforming our ways of shopping and payment, because we can’t write a check and send it through our phones that’s why we are moving to online pay, apple pay, and Samsung pay.
“A report for the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General in 2013 said 91 percent of postal service customers had choose to receive their bills by mail, but wanted to pay them online. (Tan).” They say only 37 percent of consumer paid their bill by mail, down from 74 percent in 2003. Most people now of days are going paperless some companies like banks are charging you to send you of the check you write. Some credit cards are trying to get people to go paper less. it saves the companies money, so they don’t have to send account papers out. It also saves people for never receiving their bills and miss their payment and being charged a late fee. Paying online will online take a day to go through check could take up to a week.
Check printing companies are moving on with the time they see that they won’t make it just making checks anymore. Harland, Clarke, Deluxe, and vistaprint is the biggest check printing companies. “They offer different printing services, products and payment services(Tan).” Deluxe companies admit that check usage is declining and says there might be further challenges in the future. The federal reserve is wanting faster payment and real time payments rather than checks.
Other countries have found other methods of payment better than checks. The U.K payment council said on the date October 31,2018 that the U.K. would no longer be using checks. “The goal is to ensure that by 2018 there is no scenario where customers, individuals or businesses, still need to use a cheque,” the Payments Council said in a statement(Cheques).” Most of the checks come from Sole traders, small businesses, clubs, charities, and schools. They want everyone to benefits from the replacements of the 21st century they believe that it will improve the economy. They still have to assess to make sure they have the alternative payments they want they could still push the date back. They say the most challenges that lie is if the people are going to feel comfortable to give checks up for good. “Which undeniably occupies a unique place in the British culture(Cheques).”
The British have many alternative methods of payments likes chips and mobile phones. “Banks and credit providers have been investing in chips which allow a customer to pay when the chip is pushed against a sensor, known as contactless technology(Cheques).” The mobile phones technology is to allow people to make payments on their phone. The British want to come up with an alternative to replace the check or the older generation will worry about cost and financial insecurity.
The use of check in the British culture is very low right now in many stores like supermarket chains. The stores have made a decision to stop accepting checks. Users are turning to debit cards and cash. “They say that check is the most expensive way of transaction shops. The U.K. said the earliest check written 350 years ago, dated 16 February(Cheques).” In the early days, checks were mostly made for relatively infrequently, mainly by merchants and trader for high value transactions. They started writing checks because they were guaranteed to be payed; they were often issued by goldsmiths.
The British are trying to make the move to the 21st century and use the debit cards, cash, mobile banking, they are wanting to save the customers time and stop using unnecessarily extra money on check being the most expensive scores of transactions for shops. The British aren’t the only country leaving the check industry. “Germany, Sweden and Norway use almost no written cheques, while Finland abandoned the personal cheque in 1993 and Poland followed suit in 2006. These countries now rely instead on payment systems that are totally electronic. (Attfield).”
Checks might be a thing of the past for some counties, but for America we still use them every single day. Reasons Americans still write checks are to pay anyone, easy tracked paper trail, proof of payment was received and avoid fee sometimes. There are lots of reasons to go paperless to better the environment, safer than mailing check, faster with fewer transaction holdups, digital payments are secure, and its quicker to use electronic pay. Check printing companies saw that they wouldn’t service if they stayed with just printing checks. Business to business transactions prefer using checks more information, but they do use other means of payment. With most of the bigger retailers moving to online and even some of the biggest shopping experiences, like black Friday, moving online it will keep pushing check use until it is no more.

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