You might think of the checks made of paper as being a thing of the past now that there are digital payment methods like Venmo, Zelle, and Apple Pay, but there are some situations when it’s the best to make use of them. Here’s when it may be safer or preferable to choose a personal check, how to use checks safely, and also when it’s okay to not use them.
You might want to make checks in any of the following circumstances:
- Shopping at a small shop
- Gifting money
- Tracing important payments
- Security of your identity
Shopping at a Small Business
Because of their size and processing fees, a few small businesses aren’t able to accept credit cards. In fact, one study showed that only 27% of small businesses choose digital payments (think cash or ApplePay) instead of non-digital transactions (cash checks, checks, and money orders).
If you employ someone to cut your lawn, purchase goods from a local grocery store as well as a flea market vendor, or even have the occasional dog walker, you may need to keep a cashier’s check at the ready to pay the bill.
If you’re strapped for time and planning to attend a birthday party, wedding, or other celebration of the family this could mean putting money into a gift card. But if you’re looking to give money as a gift, checks may be a better option instead of cash. While both cash and check are easy to lose in the excitement of opening gifts, one is specifically addressed to the person receiving it and the other isn’t.
This can help the recipient keep track of the person who gave them the cash. If they place the money to the side and come back to it later, they might not recall who gave it to them. Giving money by check could additionally encourage the recipient to keep the funds instead of spending them all at once. You’ll need to go to banks or use a mobile app for depositing or cashing it in, which could take a little more effort.
Tracing Important Payments
When making a substantial payment such as the down payment for a new house, a tuition payment for college or a deposit to secure a wedding location, or making a payment to a government agency, such as the IRS it is possible to use a paper check. This can help ensure your payment was accepted because you’ll know when the other party deposits or cashes the check in the next statement from your bank or through your bank’s online platform. Some banks may even provide you with the image of the cashed check to verify that it’s the correct one.
This could even prevent the payment of charges for late payments since the transactions will all be on the same date. If your check gets stolen or lost It is possible to cancel your payment through the bank’s customer service line or online via your bank’s website. If you wish to stop payment on a check, you’ll need to pick”stop” on the “stop payment” option via the online portal for your bank.
You have to do it prior to when the military checks are cashed. You may also need to enter the account number, the number of the check along with the amount of your check. Keep in mind that you’ll likely need to pay a fee to stop the check. The fees will vary from the bank you are using to stop it, however, you could end up paying about thirty dollars for stopping the cheque, and some banks will be charged more.
If You’ve Been the Victim of Fraud
Has your sensitive financial information been compromised or stolen? You’re not alone. 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 of losses.
The worst part is that the same study revealed that more victims had to pay from their pocket to cover the cost of that fraud. In light of these statistics is logical that you’d want to keep your information safe in case you’ve had to deal with similar issues. Many consumers go back to using cash checks or paper checks instead of using a credit or debit card at local stores.
They may also decline to enter their payment information on retail websites online or utilize online and digital payment options. While writing a paper check isn’t a fail-safe strategy, keeping your sensitive information in a secure location and using your credit card less could reduce the risk in which identity theft is committed, as well as fraud, and other financial crimes.