Published On: Wed, Apr 13th, 2016

The History Of The Check: Why Are Checks Still So Popular?

A ton of businesses and individuals across the globe are still utilising the paper check. It’s one of the oldest, most reliable payment methods on the planet, and that’s why it has endured to this day.

Check WritingChecks were first introduced hundreds of years ago as a form of currency that’s more portable than metals like gold, and silver. This has evolved into the note denominations we use today, and it’s clear our money had humble beginnings. Flash-forward to the present day however, and it appears that these beginnings have been all but forgotten.

In 2013, many outlets stated that the end of the check was nigh, citing the introduction of payments like contactless as reasons for its burial. Then, a couple of years later, the check appeared to bounce back, as a litany of business owners came forward to show their undying support for them.

For these business owners in particular, it’s not hard to see why they were so forthcoming about their love for the check. It’s easier for businesses to not pay any transaction or processing fees, where card payments usually incite a fee. Additionally, it just feels good to whip out a branded checkbook rather than paying with faceless card or coin transactions.

Speaking of benefits, it’s clear that no one payment method is all-encompassing. Different methods have different uses for different people, and it’s this reason why the check has survived to this day. People simply want to use it for reasons of their own. Sometimes, you want chicken for dinner, and sometimes you want lamb. It’s quite hard to quantify just why we feel the need to use one particular thing. With checks, perhaps it’s their old-fashioned nature and ease of use.

Or, perhaps it’s their flexibility and wide range of uses. Businesses that use accounting software may find methods such as Intuit checks extremely handy. They go hand in hand with their respective software and aren’t very expensive to boot. Not many payment methods can be so heavily linked to the way a business operates, but checks can.

The same is true of personal use, and international use. Because checks don’t rely on a particular currency, they’re more easily used in foreign countries. In fact, many outlets argue that the check is one of the best payment methods to be used in conjunction with travel, and it’s not hard to see why.

So, it all circles back to those situational benefits. If you’re hungry and want to get a quick bite to eat from a shop, you won’t be writing out a check for the sum of $4.68. That would be silly, but rather amusing.

This in mind, it could be argued that the only reason any payment method endures is because it possesses benefits that the others don’t. If there were no added pros of cards, cash and checks, wouldn’t people abandon them? Absolutely.

The check is so popular because it needs to be, and for the sake of choice, we should support them.

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