5 Reasons Paper Checks Wont Die

4 min read
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Cash may be king, but when it comes to making big purchases, who really carries around that much green?

Online bank transfers, although now more common, are not always practical for brick-and-mortar shopping. Swiping a credit card isn’t an option if you’re buying from small businesses that don’t accept them.

That leaves the trusty paper check.

Sure, the check has seen better days. But even in an increasingly paperless society, checks continue to have staying power.

There were 18.3 billion paper checks paid in 2012, and checks accounted for 15 percent of noncash payments that year, according to the Federal Reserve. Plenty of consumers still rely on checks for day-to-day transactions, and many businesses accept cash or check only.

Checks continue to serve a function because no payment system is perfect for every scenario, says David Walker, president and CEO of the Electronic Check Clearing House Organization, or ECCHO, in Dallas.

“Checks are different, in that any one of us who has a checking account can initiate those payments to anybody else,” Walker says.

Here are five reasons you might think twice before bouncing the paper check out of your life.