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Is the Personal Check Dead? If not, how soon will it be?

 
 
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 08:20 am
I ran out of checks for my checkbook, at least I thought I did. I had a short burst of panic, followed by this voice in my head saying "Why do you need checks?"

Here are the facts: I opened this checking account in August of 2010 and between then and now, I have used 25 checks total. There were some birthday checks to nieces and nephews and my kid, some written to the girlfriend to pay back grocery/gas/wine/gardening expenses. (We share a lot.) and, I think, two to some charity or other when I didn't have the cash.

That's about one check a month with several months with none written at all.

More, my bank will send a check to anyone anywhere by mail to any address or directly into an account if I can provide the correct account number/bank number. (They are on your check.)

As it turns out, I found another book of blank checks, but I had already decided that I wasn't going to order any more.

How about you? Have checks disappeared from your household accounting?
Or are they still lurking about?

~~
I was just remembering that, when I was a lot younger, people didn't have their own personal checks; when you went to a Men's Shop or even a Woolworth's, you went to a table by the register and wrote out a counter check. You wrote in your checking account number and the name of your bank, the amount and the store's name.
That was in Manchester, Connecticut in the 1950's, but I still saw counter checks in stores when I got to Texas in 1968.

Joe(In San Angelo, once they knew your face, they didn't ask for ID)Nation
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 10:30 am
Yeah, I haven't written a cheque or seen one in years.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 10:41 am
@Joe Nation,
We write a handful of checks a month. Some we could go to direct deposit, others like paying for music lessons or house cleaning would be complicated. I wouldn't ask my children's piano teacher for her account number so I could deposit directly for example.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 11:27 am
@Joe Nation,
I haven't used a cheque since about 20 years. And that had been an "Eurocheque" ... which were stopped some time in 90's.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 11:43 am
You can email money to people from most on-line banks. I send my daughter money that way all the time. It's in there right away and doesn't involve knowing her bank account information.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 12:10 pm
@Joe Nation,
There's a new bank regulation coming down the pike at the beginning of the year that requires paper checks to have a special encoding that will allow the banks to quickly scan them so they can be digitized for the banking system's central clearing house. I read a story about it a few days ago. I'll see if I can find it again and post a link to it.
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 12:17 pm
@Butrflynet,
Um, never mind, it was about the banking system in India and their new check format requirements. Embarrassed
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  2  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 12:27 pm
@engineer,
Yeah, I hear you. I used to write two checks a month for a housekeeper and four checks for the laundry guy. That stopped when we figured out we could just send her the check directly from the bank to her mailbox and I started doing all the laundry. (long story)

Apparently the only people I know who still write checks are all over 70 years old.

Except for my gf. She writes a bunch. Rent, payment to credit cards, gas company, cable bill----it's like it's 1999.

Joe(so I thought I would ask if I was the oddball.)Nation
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 12:44 pm
@Joe Nation,
I'm not exactly YOUNG but I'm not 70.

My husband isn't 70 yet chronologically but eventually he'll catch up to his inner age. (He's pretty much always been an old coot at heart.)

Anyway he pretty much refuses to do any commerce online. This isn't because of he's a technophobe, quite the opposite, he knows a ton about computers and handled computer security for his department at one point and did a lot of hacking as a diagnostic (to see where weaknesses were and patch them) and he just thinks it's all too easily hacked.

My position is, maybe, but it's not 1999 anymore and there are SO many people who do this stuff online that it would have to be that hackers would target us for some reason, and why?

Anyway, the point is that pretty much all of our bills are paid by check. Still. Now. Nearly 2013.

I use my checkbook occasionally for things where only cash or check are accepted (just got a Christmas tree with a check, 10% off of $45 is $31.50 sez the gal taking payments, did you say $40.50? sez I, no $31.50 sez she, um, OK), but those things are becoming more rare. (Never figured out the Christmas tree math -- that flyer said 10% off, I'm virtually certain, and I'm 100 certain the tree was supposed to be $45 original price.) (It's a lovely blue spruce. Nice and fat. Damn sharp though.)
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 12:51 pm
@sozobe,
Well, we didn't have internet in the 80's and 90's. But all our bank account activities (from getting salary over paying bills to shift money to a savings account) were done electronically - okay, it started with a money transfer form at first ...
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 12:54 pm
@Joe Nation,
I keep the one check left in a combination of "just in case" and easy access in one of my desk trays for me to remember my banking deposit number. I've memorized so many of those in my life, and I've nabbed this one too without even trying, but, again, just in case I blank on it. Of course I could look at old statements, some of which I keep for other reasons (long story). I need that number to fill out a deposit slip for the reimbursement checks (monthly haul of dog food, nail clips) I get from Katy dog's trust fund (another long story); the veterinarian's practice bills the trust directly, thank goodness.

Last real check I wrote was when I wrote a deposit for the offer on this (miserable lemon of a) house, back in 2006.

Hey, I'm 70.

dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 01:35 pm
@ossobuco,
Quote:
Hey, I'm 70.
Hey, …., I'm 82 (I think) but you have our sincerest condolences. Especially from me and the BH who by the sheerest good fortune somehow lucked out in that respect back in 1997

But we sympathize too on the requirement to remember so many numbers. It's like on the Internet where each site has its own rules for password: Number of characters, caps v LC, uses of digits, etc etc until I myself had a listing of 50

Finally decided, if that site won't take my usu password the hell with it
0 Replies
 
nextone
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 02:32 pm
Pay most everything with a credit card and then pay the credit card via telephone. Use automatic deductions for utilities.
Use a check for rent each month. Write other checks as gifts and for charities and services and for tax payments.

In 2010 wrote a hundred checks, 2011 around seventy and this year fewer than sixty.

What is so rare as a day I pay with cash. Use the uncurrent currency in places that accept nothing else. Probably spend under $100.00 cash in a month.

dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 03:04 pm
@nextone,
Quote:
then pay the credit card via telephone
But Next this leaves no record of any kind, the worst possible way
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 03:06 pm
@nextone,
I have two dollars in my wallet (a function of a lifetime of possibly needing change for a telephone) for months on end, the same two. Now I carry a cheapo cell phone, and for now I have the internet, but I don't count on these things.
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 03:22 pm
Quote:
How about you? Have checks disappeared from your household accounting?


I still use checks. I like the feel of paper.
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 03:23 pm
@Miller,
Because I like the feel of paper, I subscribe to 4 daily newpapers and never, if I can avoid it, read a paper on the internet.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 03:57 pm
@dalehileman,
Of course it does - it shows up on your statements.
nextone
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 04:22 pm
@dalehileman,
I get a confirmation # when I call in payment. Payment is shown on next (one's) statement (as Mame noted), and my checking account shows the amount debited. Hasn't been a problem.
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 07:15 pm
@Joe Nation,
What's a "personal check"?

Oh, wait, I think I remember . . .
 

 
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