Still Write Paper Checks? You’re Probably Rich

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It appears that more people are going paperless, and it’s no different when it comes to paying bills. A new survey from GoBankingRates indicates that paper checks are becoming a thing of the past, as more Americans take advantage of mobile and online banking.

Though high-earners and older people are more likely to put pen to paper several times a month, nearly 40 percent of respondents surveyed said they never write checks, while 20 percent said they write checks, but only a few times a year.

Here are some other survey findings:

  • Gender gap. Women (29.2 percent) are more likely to write several checks a month than men (21.7 percent).
  • Income impact. Every person polled who makes $150,000 or more a year said they write several checks a month.
  • Age demographic. The youngest people polled, ages 18-24, are most likely to never write checks, while 38.5 percent of those ages 55-64 and 36.5 percent of those 65 and older are likely to write checks several times a month.
  • Where you live. Rural folks write more checks than their urban counterparts.

GoBankingRates says:

“Consumers are becoming more tech-savvy and realize that online banking is more convenient and secure than using paper checks that have the potential to expose your personal information, including your account number, to others. Younger consumers rely on debit card transactions or person-to-person money transfer services and may never write a check, similar to consumer behavior in Europe,” Kyle Kolsky, SVP head of consumer deposits at Bank of Internet, told GoBankingRates.

Iowa’s KCRG reports that a shift from paper checks to electronic payments has led to the consolidation of several check clearinghouses in recent years.

An estimated 150 regional check clearinghouses operated in 1997, according to the U.S. General Accounting Office. In the last decade, many of these closed or were merged into larger organizations as the volume of paper checks continued to decline rapidly.

Do you still write checks? Why or why not? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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Comments & discussion

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  • Roger Boaz

    I write very few checks now since most bills can be paid on-line. Vendors who sent me an email get paid sooner – sometimes as soon as I get the email, e.g., PG&E. Water company wants to charge extra for electronic payment so the get a check later.

  • Steve

    We are in the category you classify as “rich” and in the 55-64 age group, and the only checks we write are to those that can’t be paid online, for whatever reason. Eventually, checks will be an obscure thing, like the pay phone and big box stores.

  • David Stiles

    I use transfers out of my checking account to pay all routine bills. But for any payment having tax consequences or of a major amount, I want the availability of the online image of both sides of a cancelled check as uncontestable proof of payment.

  • robert m

    Guess I am an oddity i am 26 write check alot and make over your so called rich classification.