You might think of the traditional checks as a thing of the past as there are digital payment options such as Venmo, Zelle, and Apple Pay, but there are some situations when it’s better to utilize them. This is when it might be more secure or beneficial to use a personal check, how to use checks safely, and when it’s acceptable to avoid them.
It is possible to write an advance check in one of the following situations:
- Shopping at a small store
- Money to give away
- Tracing important payments
- You can protect your identity by securing it.
Shopping at a Small Business
Because of their size and processing charges, some small firms aren’t able to accept credit cards. In fact, one study showed that only 27% of small businesses would prefer digital transactions (think debit or ApplePay) over traditional payments (cash cheques, checks, and money orders). Therefore, if you contract someone to mow your lawn or buy goods from a local store or flea market vendor, or even have the occasional dog walker, then you might be able to keep a checkbook at hand to pay the bill.
If you’re strapped for time and are planning a wedding, birthday party, 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 more appropriate than cash. Although both checks and cash can easily be lost in the excitement of unwrapping presents, one is specifically addressed to the person and one is not.
This may help the recipient keep track of the person who gave them the cash. If they put the cash to the side and go back later, they won’t recall who gave the money to them. Giving money by check could inspire the recipient to save the money instead of spending them right away. You’ll need to go to the bank or use an app on their mobile to deposit the money or cash it in, which could take an extra step.
Tracing Important Payments
In the event of a large-scale payment, such as a down payment on an apartment, a college tuition bill as well as a deposit towards the location for a wedding, or the payment of a government agency such as the IRS You may need to make a check-in paper. This will help you ensure that your payment was accepted because you’ll know when the other party deposits or cashes the check on the next bank statement or through the bank’s online portal. Some banks will even show you a photo of the cashed check so you can ensure it’s accurate.
This could even prevent you from owing any extra fees due to late transactions since they will all be dated. In addition, if your check gets lost or stolen If you are unable to locate or retrieve your check, you can be able to cancel the transaction through the customer service line or online through the website of your bank. To place a stop payment on your check, it is necessary to click “stop payment” in the “stop payment” option via your bank’s online portal–but you have to do it prior to when the check is cashed. You’ll also need to enter the account number and check number along with the amount of the check. Make sure you will likely have to pay a fee to stop a check. These charges vary from one Bank to Bank, but you could pay around $33 to stop the cash, and some banks may charge even more.
If You’ve Been the Victim of Fraud
Do you have sensitive financial information that has been compromised or stolen? It’s not a problem for everyone. A study revealed that in the year 2018, 14.4 million people in the U.S. were victims of identity fraud, to the tune of approximately $3.4 billion in losses. Even worse, that same study showed that more victims were required to pay from their own pocket to pay for the costs of the fraud. In light of these statistics, it makes sense you’d want to keep your information secure if you’ve been through with something similar.
Many customers return to using cash or creative cowboy checks made of paper instead of using a debit or credit card in local stores. They might also choose not to provide their payment information on retail websites online or make use of online and electronic payment methods. While writing a check on paper isn’t a guaranteed method of protecting your confidential information offline and swiping your credit card less could reduce the risk of fraudulent identity theft, and other financial criminals.