You may think of checking with paper checks as something of the past now that there are payment options that can be made digitally such as Venmo, Zelle, and Apple Pay, but there are still some circumstances when it’s more beneficial to use paper computer checks. There are times when it’s more secure or more convenient to use a personal or paper check, as well as how to use checks in a safe manner, and when it’s okay to leave them out.
You may wish to write checks in any of the following situations:
- Shopping at a small store
- Giving money as a gift
- Tracing important payments
- Secure your identity
Shopping at a Small Business
Because of their size and processing costs, some small firms aren’t able to accept credit cards. A study showed that only 27% of small companies prefer digital payment methods (think debit or ApplePay) in preference to non-digital payment (cash, checks, and money orders). Therefore, if you contract someone to mow your lawn, purchase products at a local shop as well as a flea market vendor, or even have a dog walker, you might want to keep a checkbook at the ready to pay them.
If you’re pressed for time and you’re planning a birthday celebration, wedding, or special family event this could mean putting money into a gift card. But when giving money as presents, checks may be a better option instead of cash. While both checks and cash could easily get lost when you are rushing to open presents, one of them is addressed specifically to the person and one isn’t.
This may help the recipient recall who gave them the cash. If they set cash to the side and revisit it in the future, they may not recall who gave it to them. The gift of money through checks could additionally encourage the recipient to put the money away rather than spend them immediately. You’ll need to go to banks or use an app on their mobile for depositing or cashing it, which can take a little more effort.
Tracing Important Payments
If you are making a major payment for something like a down payment on an apartment, a college tuition amount, a deposit for the ceremony venue, or making a payment to a government agency like the IRS it is possible to make a check-in paper. This can help ensure your payment was made because you’ll be able to see when the other party deposits or cashes your check in the next statement from your bank or through your bank’s online platform. Some banks may even provide you with a photo of the check that was cashed so you can ensure it’s authentic.
This can also help to prevent you from owning any extra fees due to late transactions since they will all be on the same date. If your check gets lost or stolen You can ask to be able to cancel the transaction through the customer service line or online using your bank’s website. For a stop payment to be placed on your check, it is necessary to click “stop payments” or the “stop payment” option via your bank’s online portal.
However, you should do this prior to the check has been cashed. It is also possible to enter your account number, the check number, and the total amount of your check. Be aware that you’ll likely need to be charged a fee to stop the check. The fees will vary from one banking institution to another, but you could end up paying about thirty dollars for stopping the cheque and some banks may have to charge more.
If You’ve Been the Victim of Fraud
Are your confidential financial data been stolen or compromised? 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 of $3.4 billion in losses. And, even more troubling, the same study showed that more victims were required to pay out of their own pockets to pay for the costs of the fraud.
Given these numbers, it’s only natural to like to keep your personal information safe in case you’ve had to deal with similar issues. Many customers return to making cash or checks with paper in lieu of swiping cards with credit or debit at local shops. They can also refuse to input their payment details online at retail websites or opt for online or digital payment options. While writing a check on paper isn’t a fail-safe strategy protecting your confidential information on the Internet and using your credit card with caution could assist in reducing the likelihood of identity theft, fraud, and other financial crime.