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03-30-2017 01:04 PM
Anyone else out there still write checks? Maybe here at the AARP, there are some still doing it, but I think we are in a shrinking minority. This morning, I used the last check in my checkbook (I use the duplicate type) and scanning my register, I noted that I write only about 4 checks a month. I refilled my checkbook holder with the last of my supply of checks. Reorder time... Last reorder lasted a couple years - that works for me. Doing it online, my bank refers me to a commercial checkbook printing service. I ordered exactly what I got last time - and in the Shipping Options - I selected regular shipping - as that saves me $8.00 over Trackable Shipping. Luv saving those coins!
Back to the check usage. My daughter lives in Germany and has bank accounts, but no checking. All her recurring payments are made automatically. Credit/debit cards and smart phones are used for everything else.They were using the smart chips instead of the magnetic stripes long ago; something that here in North America, we only recently took up. She tells me that none of her friends have checking accounts either. I dunno - maybe the banks over there don't even offer that anymore. Eventually, I think that will be the case here, as well.
03-30-2017 05:30 PM
I still use a checkbook for some payments, although I do a lot of them online either directly from my checking account, or using a credit card. When I processed dues payments for a couple of clubs, I hated those bank-generated checks; the print was tiny, and frankly they weren't prompt at all .. so I'm definitely not motivated to try those. Some tradespeople & professionals only accept checks for payment, and when you get services .. you can't just say your bank will (eventually) send them a check .. they want to walk out with it.
My checks last a lot longer too; I switched from the company the bank recommended a few years ago, to VistaPrint .. they charge a lot less!
Registered on Online Community since 2007!
03-30-2017 08:35 PM
Checks are almost a thing of the past, aren't they? I wrote 5 checks in 2016. All but one was auto related (registration, insurance).
We use credit cards like a checking account: virtually everything goes through them and we pay them all off each month, also electronically. This way we save on check costs, postage and have that extra insurance should we want our money back. Also, we have only rewards credit cards, so we make money each year by using our credit cards this way. And we pay no finance or other fees.
There are a couple recurring bills that I prefer to handle individually --though I pay them electronically as well.
I understand that checks are the least secure form of payment, so it's good that we are moving away from them.
03-31-2017 10:54 AM - edited 03-31-2017 10:59 AM
I continue to use checks as a form of payment for certain applications. I use a personal checking account, a "money market account" through my investment management company and I am the trustee for a special account which disburses funds via ACH transfer and paper checks.
Some small businesses do not accept credit or debit cards...cash or check is the only option. Since I need to keep scrupulous records, a check is the preferred method of payment.
I use one particular credit card for most expenditures and, yes, there are special advantages to using it. It is also the only card I have with a chip reader. A lot of businesses in my area still do not have working chip scanners.
I have another card as a back-up but rarely use it. It has a rewards program as well.
Locally, I use my debit card for most small purchases. I rarely carry cash...if I need some and cannot get to the bank, it's easy to go into a grocery store, purchase a small item and get cash back with no fees on the debit card.
My bills are all paid online through the bank...in my case, a credit union. In a few rare instances, a bank check is written for an infrequent billing. Most of the rest are accomplished via electronic transfer of funds or ACH (Automatic Clearing House.)
Paper checks may be on the way out but it's still a slow-going process. I go through one or two check refills a year on my personal account, perhaps a little more than one on the MMA and maybe 10 checks per year on the trust .
I save money wherever I can on checks and my credit union pays me for keeping my money there.
Here's a link with several different explanations for the most secure way to move funds and pay debts for those who are interested:
For those unfamiliar with the Quora website, click "about" at the top of the page for a brief but interesting read on how it works.
04-06-2017 05:00 PM
Seconding Astraea. Used checks for local places, tradespeople. Yes, far less than we used to. Also send checks for various charities. We don't want to register our card with individual charities. If they take PayPal, no problem. If not, we're sending a check.
“The world is a book. Those who do not travel read only one page.”
04-07-2017 07:27 PM - edited 04-08-2017 07:31 AM
Fodder for you check enthusiasts:
How Writing Personal Checks Can Expose You to Fraud
Writing checks is just as risky as most new payment methods. Here's what you can do to reduce your chances of becoming a victim.
As an economic-crimes detective, I've had many of my discussions with friends turn to the risks associated with modern payment methods. It's not unusual for someone to proudly proclaim, "That's why I only use checks and cash!" But they're shocked when I tell them there are probably more dangers associated with using checks, especially when they're written to a business or unfamiliar person, than with most digital wallets or other payment apps.
All the information fit to steal
A check is a treasure trove of information for fraudsters. Think about all the personal data you want to hide from thieves and then think about what's printed on the front of your personal checks: names, addresses, the banking institution, the bank's routing number, and the check holder's account number. Even worse, when writing a check at a retail location, you may be required to write your driver license number on the front of the check; in a few states it's the check writer's Social Security number.
With access to this data, thieves can pay for items online with just the account and routing numbers. Many prepaid cards can also have money transferred to them from a bank account by using the same information. That's to say nothing of the risks of identity theft or an account takeover once this information is compromised.
Follow the link below to find out ways to protect yourself.
Here's Bankrate weighing in with a piece titled: Writing checks increasingly risky
Checks have long been a risky and anachronistic way of paying for things, and that's only become more true with the explosion of online payment fraud in recent years.
Financial writer Felix Salmon of Fusion has a great piece on just how dangerous handing out little pieces of paper with most of the key credentials for your bank account written on them can be. He decided to try a little experiment: he posted his checking account number on Fusion's Slack online chat service to see what would happen:
Be safe out there!
PS I mentioned above that I'd read about the security issues with checks; these are my sources.
04-10-2017 11:41 AM
An incident over the weekend reminded me of the times it's more cost-effective to use checking, than paying online by credit card:
- If you pay your income taxes online by credit card, there may be a fee based on the amount of your tax .. which can be substantial. No fee at all for paying by check.
- Some non-profits ask you to cover the fee charged by donating online by credit card, or that you are only entitled to deduct the remaining amount as a charitable contribution. No deductions for donating by check.
Registered on Online Community since 2007!
04-10-2017 12:25 PM - edited 04-10-2017 02:46 PM
Well, I couldn't allow this opportunity to pass without offering evidence that there are still many reasons to continue to use checks for the present, in spite of the fact that they are losing popularity in the general population. The first article offers a cogent argument that the use of checks is still in a "transitional" phase as society grows more tech-savvy and the average "age" of the population is growing younger. The second article speaks to compelling reasons why paper checks will be around for a longer time than doom-sayers predict.
The third link is a short funny video created by a check-printing firm.
http://www.bankrate.com/banking/checking/5-reasons-paper-checks-have-staying-power/#slide=1 (Bankrate is playing both sides of the fence on this one)
04-10-2017 01:27 PM
@Prosecco6247 - That last video is cute; even if he didn't kill a wild beast to make the check!
Registered on Online Community since 2007!
04-10-2017 02:36 PM - edited 04-10-2017 02:49 PM
@ASTRAEA I know you appreciate the wry humor in the video. I don't know if you caught the symbolism as they've taken it a step further and the character of Duncan Steele pulls out a quill pen to write his check.
There is another video of "Duncan Steele" that runs in the same comedic vein. In this one, another man is conducting his transaction while ogling a pretty girl in line behind him. As the clerk calls out the total, he asks, "you take plastic, right?" Fellow customer Duncan says, "I'll pay...with a CHECK!" and the man makes fun of him, saying in a stage whisper, "Who the he!! pays for beef jerky with a check?" Duncan then pulls out an enormously long feather quill and an antique bottle of ink as the pretty girl behind them, obviously impressed, compliments him on his writing instrument. "It's emu," he says. Another customer in line is noted to be tickled by the end of the feather while Duncan is writing.
The end of the video shows the first man having his credit card denied for payment...and Duncan has the last laugh..."You, sir, are poor!" says Duncan while waving the check in front of him!
Did you also note the play on words in the title screen?
Duncan Steele--The Man With "Checks" (sex) Appeal
It's interesting that these videos were created in 2010! It's now 2017 and we are still writing checks for very specific reasons.
Addendum: Did you know that youtube offers a number of videos explaining "How To Write A Check" ???
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