Why personal checks are still relevant

Even though checks are used primarily in business and professional contexts these days, personals checks can be customized to make transactions fun.

personal checks
Checks work like debit cards, but transactions don’t happen in an instant. You can avoid convenience fees entirely if you make payments by writing a personal check. For large purchases, a cashier’s check is a secure option.

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There were times when people used personal checks every day, just like using debit cards or electronic payment options. Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown in 2020 proved that contactless payments have become normative in a world that is instantaneously tuned to a digital age. 

Whether you shop online or in-person at a grocery, gift, or clothing store, contactless payments have played a crucial role in maintaining the U.S. economy. It made it possible for everyone to make purchases, including people who didn’t feel safe while swiping cards or receiving change.

However, even though everyday transactions have become digital, business-to-business transactions still pivot on checks. Although the usage of checks has reduced remarkably after the mid-2000s, 42% of business-to-business transactions were done by physical checks in 2019, regardless of excessive digital alternatives. Though you may not need checks for your everyday purchases and transactions, you should not eliminate checks or lose them. Writing a check has unique benefits even in today’s scenario. 

When do you need a personal check?

Personal checks are relevant today as there are many transactions that need checks. Contractors completing a house renovation prefer checks from the house owners. When refinancing a mortgage, the final payment is made by checks. Any independent service or individual who is paid monthly would prefer checks. Some businesses don’t undertake credit or debit cards payments while signing a deal. Payments between insurance companies and hospitals for individual claims still mail checks. And for large purchases, a cashier’s check is a secure option. 

Benefits of personal checks in certain situations

Some businesses and real estate agents usually require convenience fees for electronic payments. You can avoid convenience fees entirely if you make payments by writing a personal check.  

They also provide classic protection from losing your money. On the check, you would have to write the amount of money and the name of the recipient who will receive that money. Since redeeming money using checks from banks and merchants requires a signature and verification of IDs, you need not worry about losing the money even if you lose the check. Meanwhile, if your purse is stolen, anyone can use the cash instantly. 

Moreover, nearly 11% of the people in the United States don’t use the internet even today. Because many fear the spread of the Covid-19 virus, sending checks from your home is a viable alternative to paying bills using cash in person. If you are paid with checks, you don’t require a direct deposit or a bank account to redeem the money. 

Even though checks are used primarily in business and professional contexts these days, checks can be customized to make transactions fun and personal. You can add photos or even include or designs and greeting to gift loved ones on special occasions.

The drawbacks

Cash, credit, debit, or smartphone process transactions in an instant. Moreover, you will be able to check your account balance right away after purchasing or sending, or receiving money in other payment options. On the other hand, check payments wouldn’t be reflected in your account until the recipient redeems the check. If you forget any one of the check payments you have made, you will misjudge the remaining balance and pending transactions. This could lead to an overdraft. 

While checks could help you stay away from convenience fees, you would have to spend money to buy the checks themselves. Moreover, you would have to cough up some cash for envelopes, stamps, and mail if you use checks to pay bills every month.

Alternatives

If you don’t prefer writing checks, you can send and receive money using electronic mobile payment services. For recurring payments, a bank or credit union might have an online bill pay feature. You can always use a debit, credit, or prepaid card for quick payments and everyday transactions. 

If you need to mail several checks, you should consider finding a checking account. Nearly all of them generally provide a free pack of checks — you can even order a bundle. However, don’t buy too many boxes of checks at once as you would have to pay too much for them. You would also have to place an order in another agency rather than your bank or credit union.

This page is purely informational. Line does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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