Do people still use checks to pay bills? (2024)

Do people still use checks to pay bills?

These days, most Americans (57 percent in 2020 and 2021) have not written a check in the past month, and even those who write them do so rarely. They're most common in high-dollar transactions of $500 or more, but even then we write checks only 14 percent of the time.

Does anyone use checks anymore?

Although check writing was the primary means of monetary exchange in the 1980s, today the practice is hardly used. Compared to the instantaneous gratification of a quick Venmo or Zelle payment, checks are a much slower exchange of funds.

Can checks be used to pay bills?

Checks are generally written against a checking account, but they can also be used to move funds from a savings or other type of account. Checks can be used to make bill payments, as gifts, or to transfer sums between two people or entities.

Do people still send checks?

Checks are not dead. In fact, according to a recent survey by GOBankingRates, 17% of Americans are still writing checks on a monthly basis — and 15% send a few checks every month.

Do people in the US still use checks?

In Europe and other industrialized parts of the world, electronic payment mechanisms have largely replaced checks. But in the U.S., paper checks are still very common, accounting for more than 60% of retail payments.

Are checks becoming obsolete?

The number of checks being written is dropping by 1.8 billion a year, and at that rate, checks would go away entirely by 2026, according to Business Insider.

Why are people still using checks?

Many individuals still rely on checks to pay bills, such as rent, utilities, or other recurring expenses. Writing a check allows individuals to have control over the timing of their payments and serves as proof of payment in case of any discrepancies.

What is replacing check usage?

There are several digital alternatives to paper checks, including: ACH payments (or eCheck payment) Credit card payments. Virtual cards — credit card numbers that aren't tied to a physical credit card. International wire transfers.

How much longer will checks be around?

According to the Philadelphia Fed Study, the number of paper checks is steadily declining every year. There were 28 billion checks processed in 2009 and has been dropping 1.2 billion per year since then. At this pace, the paper check will be extinct by 2026.

How many people still pay bills by check?

These days, most Americans (57 percent in 2020 and 2021) have not written a check in the past month, and even those who write them do so rarely. They're most common in high-dollar transactions of $500 or more, but even then we write checks only 14 percent of the time.

Is it better to pay bills online or by check?

And when you consider the many things that could go wrong with paying by check—like the check getting stolen, lost in the mail or not getting to the payee in time—online bill pay definitely has an advantage.

Should I accept a check as payment?

Checks may offer more security features than cash payments. But paper checks can easily be misplaced or stolen. Plus, customers could pay with stolen checkbooks or counterfeit checks. Trying to reconcile fraudulent checks can be a nightmare for small businesses.

Do Millennials use checks?

It might seem obvious to assume that young people don't use checks at all, but that would be an incorrect assessment: As you might expect, check use is higher among older people, while younger people have embraced solutions from tech providers like Apple and PayPal. But these are generalizations.

What countries no longer use checks?

The love affair with checks may be strictly American — countries in Europe, like Poland, Denmark, Finland, and the Netherlands stopped issuing checks over the last two decades — but the check originated in Italy centuries ago.

Can you pay with checks in stores?

Most stores accept checks as payment as long as you properly fill out all required fields on the check.

Should I stop using checks?

Checks Are Easily Stolen and Altered

Checks can be intercepted from the mail and the victim may not realize there is fraud until it's too late, causing financial losses and even increasing the chances of identity theft.

Will checks be around in the future?

This will have a dramatic impact on the future of checks. By 2026, we predict instant payments will largely displace checks in their many forms. Checks will become too costly for the household, business, and bank to process.

Are checks safe anymore?

Is writing a check still safe? In general, paying by check is fairly safe, thanks to measures like watermarking and specialized check backgrounds. However, you may be more at risk of theft and fraud if you're still using this payment method.

Why do old people pay by check?

Old people use checks because they make it easier to keep track of the money. Most people that use a debit card, really don't know how much they have in their account. Since old people are on a fixed income, they HAVE to know what's in their account. The checkbook has an accounting system built in.

Why should you stop using paper checks?

The U.S. Postal Service is vulnerable, and thieves who can access your checks can change the amount and ferret those funds right out of your bank account. And then it can take weeks to get the funds back.

Why should we stop using paper checks?

Answer: Checks are not just stolen from unprotected mailboxes. Thieves have attacked mail carriers for keys to secure mailboxes. Checks also can be stolen in transit and from the recipients' mailrooms. Even people who have mailed their payments at a post office have reported being the victims of check theft.

How can I pay without checks?

Financial Education: Paying Bills Without a Bank Account
  1. Pay Bills with a Money Order. Money orders can almost always be used in place of a personal check, and because of this, they're great for people without bank accounts. ...
  2. Pay Bills with a Prepaid Debit Card. ...
  3. Pay Bills with Electronic Bill Pay.

Who uses checks the most?

They are most likely to write checks for purposes and merchants commonly associated with bill payments (utilities, rent, government taxes and fees, and building contractors) and for charitable donations. All things equal, low-income, older consumers are more likely than other groups to use checks.

Why do Americans love checks?

Checks provide a paper trail that can be easily audited, which is essential for many businesses. Additionally, small businesses, which form a substantial part of the American economy, often prefer checks due to their ease of use and the lack of transaction fees associated with many digital payment methods.

How do most Americans pay their bills?

A bare majority (54%) mostly uses checks, and a small minority (15%) mostly uses cash. Click, Check or Cash? How do you pay your bills each month? Notes: Online payments includes those who make “electronic or online payments” and those who use credit cards to make an “automatic or electronic” payment.


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