Dear Lady In Front Of Me At The Grocery Store: No One Writes Checks Anymore

Go back to the 20th Century.

The usage of checks as a payment system has plummeted in the U.S. in recent years. In 2000, checks were used in more than 40 billion transactions, according to a recent report from the Federal Reserve’s Cash Products Office. That number is down to less than 20 billion, according to the Fed’s most recent numbers, which are based on a survey conducted in October 2012.

When it comes to American payment preferences, checks run a distant fourth. (At least when you measure the overall number of transactions. Checks are used for about 19 percent of the value of all purchases, slightly higher than debit or credit cards.)


I wouldn’t even mind people using them at the grocery store (much) if they would just manage to get the checkbook out and start filling out the check before everything was rung up and bagged. Instead, it’s always an adventurous trip through a big purse just to find the checkbook after the bagging is done, as if the payment portion of the trip to the store was a surprise.

This is the kind of thing I should be doing from a chip in my head already. And I want my Jetsons hover car.


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