You might think of paper checks as a thing of the past given that there are payment options that can be made digitally like Venmo, Zelle, and Apple Pay, but there are still some instances when it’s the best to make use of them. Here’s when it may be more secure or more convenient to use a personal check, how to use check safely, as well as when it’s okay to not use them.
You might want to make checks in any of the following situations:
- Shop at a small-scale business
- Gifting money
- Tracing important payments
- Secure your identity
Shopping at a Small Business
Because of their size and credit card processing charges, some small businesses don’t accept credit cards. In fact, one study revealed that only 27% of small businesses would prefer digital transactions (think ApplePay or credit card) instead of non-digital transactions (cash or checks, as well as money orders). If you employ someone to mow your lawn or buy goods from a local retailer or flea-market vendor or even hire a dog walker, then you might prefer to have a checking account at the ready to pay the bill.
If you’re short on time and are planning a birthday party, wedding, or another important family gathering, that probably means tucking money into a debit card. But when giving money as an offer, sports checks could be more appropriate than cash. Both cash and checks are likely to be lost when you are rushing to open presents, one of them are addressed specifically to the individual and the other isn’t.
This will help the person receiving it keep track of the person who gave them the cash. If they set cash to the side and go back in the future, they may not recall who gave the money to them. Checks that are given as gifts can also encourage the recipient to save money instead of spending them in a hurry. They’ll have to visit any bank or an app on their mobile to deposit or withdraw it, which could take some effort.
Tracing Important Payments
In the event of a large-scale payment, such as a down payment on a new house, a college tuition payment, a deposit for the ceremony venue, or even an installment to a federal institution like the IRS It is recommended to make a check-in paper. This can ensure that the payment is received since you’ll see when the other party deposits or cashes the cheque on your next bank statement or via your bank’s online portal. Some banks will even give you the image of the check that was cashed to verify that it’s authentic.
This could even prevent the payment of any charges for late payments since the transactions are all date-stamped. If your check gets lost or stolen, you can ask to be able to cancel the transaction through your bank’s customer service phone number or online on your bank’s website.
For a stop payment to be placed on your check, it is necessary to choose “stop pay” from the “stop payment” option via your bank’s online portal–but you should do this prior to the check being cashed. You may also need to enter your account numbers, the check’s number along with the amount of your check. Remember that you’ll likely need to pay a fee to stop the check. The costs vary from the bank you are using to stop it, but it could cost about $30 to stop the check while some banks could have to charge more.
If You’ve Been the Victim of Fraud
Has your sensitive financial information been stolen or compromised? It’s not a problem for everyone. A study revealed that in the year 2018, 14.4 million people in the U.S. were victims of identity fraud which amounted to a total of approximately $3.4 billion in losses.
Additionally, that study found that more victims had to pay from their own pocket to cover the cost of this fraud. With these numbers, It’s natural that you’d prefer to keep your details safe if you’ve dealt with similar issues. Many consumers go back to making cash or checks with paper in lieu of swiping cards with credit or debit at local retailers.
They can also refuse to submit their payment details online at retail websites or make use of online and electronic payment methods. While writing a paper check isn’t a foolproof method to protect your personal information, keeping it online and not using your credit cards less can reduce the chance of fraudulent identity theft, and other financial crimes.