Many people think of paper checks as a thing of the past when there are electronic payment methods such as Venmo, Zelle, and Apple Pay, but there are some situations where it’s best to make use of them. This is when it might be better or safer to use a personal check, how to use checks safely, and also when it’s acceptable to avoid them.
You might want to make your check in one of these situations:
- Shop at a small shop
- Cash gifts
- Tracing important payments
- Protecting your identity
Shopping at a Small Business
Due to their size and processing costs, some small companies aren’t willing to accept credit card payments. A recent study found that just 27% of small companies prefer digital payment methods (think cash or ApplePay) over non-digital ones (cash cheques, checks, and money orders). If you employ someone to cut your lawn, buy items from a local market and flea market seller or even have the occasional dog walker, then you might want to keep a checkbook at hand to pay them.
If you’re pressed for time and are planning a birthday celebration, wedding, or other celebration of the family it’s likely that you’ll need to put cash into a credit card. However, if you’re giving money as a gift, inspirational checks may be better instead of cash. While both checks and cash can easily be lost when you are rushing to open presents, one is specifically addressed to the person receiving it and the other isn’t.
This may help the recipient keep track of the person who gave them the money. If they keep the cash on the side and revisit it later, they might not remember who gifted it to them. Giving money by check could be a good way to encourage recipients to save the money instead of spending them right away. They’ll have to visit the bank or use an app for mobile devices for depositing or cashing it, which might take an extra step.
Tracing Important Payments
When making a substantial payment for something like an amount to be used towards a downpayment on a new house, a college tuition bill as well as a deposit towards a ceremony venue, or even an installment to a federal agency, such as the IRS or the IRS, it’s best to make a check-in paper. This will help you ensure that your payment was received because you’ll be able to see how the other party deposit or cashes the check on the next bank statement or through your bank‘s online portal.
Some banks can even provide an image of the check that was cashed to confirm that the transaction is right. This may even help prevent you from having to pay costs for late payments as the transactions will all be on the same date. If, for example, your check is stolen or lost It is possible to be able to cancel the transaction through the customer service line or online through the bank’s website.
For a stop payment to be placed on an unpaid check, you’ll need to click the “stop payment” option via your bank’s online portal. However, you have to do it prior to when the check is cashed. It is also possible to enter the account number, the check’s number, and the total amount of your check. Remember that you’ll likely need to pay a fee to stop a check. The fees will vary from the bank you are using to stop it, however, you could end up paying approximately $30 to stop the check and some banks might cost more.
If You’ve Been the Victim of Fraud
Are your confidential financial data been compromised or stolen? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. A study revealed that in the year 2018, 14.4 million people in the U.S. were victims of identity fraud to the tune in the amount of $3.4 billion in losses. Even worse, that same study showed that more victims were forced to pay from their pocket to cover the cost of the fraud. In light of these statistics, it makes sense you’d need to ensure your personal information is secure if you’ve already dealt with similar issues.
Many consumers go back to making cash or checks with paper instead of using a credit or debit card in local stores. Some may not want to submit their payment details on the internet at retailers’ websites or opt for online or digital payment services. While writing checks on paper isn’t the most secure method, keeping your sensitive information on the Internet and using your credit card less could help decrease the instances of identity theft and fraud, and other financial crimes.