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Why Paper Checks Are Still Relevant in Today’s Digital Age

In today’s digital world, where almost everything can be done online, paper checks may seem like an outdated payment method. However, paper checks still hold a special place in several industries, especially for contractors paying suppliers, school fees, physical magazine subscriptions, and groceries.

Contrary to popular belief, paper checks still offer many advantages, including record-keeping, better security, no additional fees, and building credit history.

Valid Form of Payment

You may be surprised to learn that not all businesses accept credit or debit cards, especially smaller ones. In contrast, paper checks are still accepted almost everywhere, making them a reliable form of payment.

In several industries like schools, contractors or grocers, paper checks are still the preferred payment method, as they can be deposited into a bank account.

Record Keeping

Before online banking and mobile apps, people kept track of their transactions through memos or check numbers, stamped on paper checks. With writing checks, people have a hard copy of their transaction, making it easier to keep track of expenses.

They can also write a memo on the check hinting what the payment was for.


One of the main concerns about paper checks is the risk of fraud and forgery. However, paper checks offer better security features than other forms of payment.

First, the signature on a paper check makes it harder to forge than transactions done online. Second, when mailing a check, it is less likely to be stolen than a credit or debit card, which can easily fall into the wrong hands.

No Additional Fees

Another advantage of using paper checks is the lack of additional fees that come with other payment methods. When using credit or debit cards, processing fees are charged.

This is a cost that can creep up on you and end up being quite expensive. In contrast, paper checks tend to have only a one-time fee charged for the checkbook.

Building Credit

A persons credit history is an important factor in determining their credibility for loans and lines of credit. An individual can build a good credit history by writing checks regularly and paying on time, adding to their positive credit report.

Writing checks indicates that the person is capable of handling finances responsibly and is trustworthy. Survey Results of Americans’ Use of Paper Checks

According to a survey conducted in the United States, at least 30% of respondents ages 18-24 use paper checks at least once a month.

This proves that paper checks are still a relevant payment method, even for a younger generation. While many may assume that younger users would prefer digital transactions, there are still a few instances where paper checks are the preferred payment method.

The survey also showed that the top reasons for paper check usage include being a valid form of payment, record-keeping, security, no additional fees, and building credit history. These factors show that paper checks offer several advantages, making them a reliable form of payment in todays digital age.


Paper checks may seem like an outdated payment method, but they offer several advantages, making them relevant in several industries. With paper checks, there is no need to worry about fees, security, and credit history, making them a cost-efficient form of payment.

Moreover, the younger generation also sees the value in this payment method. In conclusion, as much as electronic transactions are becoming the norm, paper checks are here to stay, and we should consider taking advantage of their benefits.

Situations Where Paper Checks are Still Necessary

In the digital age, paper checks are still relevant for several transactions. Below are four situations where paper checks are still necessary, despite the prevalence of online transactions.

Hiring Contractors

When hiring contractors, it is common for them to be paid with physical checks instead of cash or electronic transactions. Most contractors prefer physical checks because they can easily deposit them into their bank account.

Physical checks are also easier to track in case of any disputes, as both the contractor and the hiring party can keep a copy of the transaction. According to most contractors, electronic transactions come with convenience fees, making physical checks the most cost-effective payment option.

Paying for School Fees

Parents of school-aged children usually receive fees payable to schools that require payment through a physical check. It is a common practice for schools to require fees through physical checks, as it helps in better record-keeping.

This method also allows parents to have a written record of the transaction in case of any disputes. Parents can also request receipts for their transactions.

Paying for Physical Magazine Subscriptions

Physical magazines subscription still requires payment through a physical check, as most companies still do not offer auto-bill options. Many people still prefer physical magazines because they enjoy the feel of a magazine in their hands.

Physical checks are useful in such situations because they offer both the reader and publishing company a written record of the transaction.

Grocery Shopping

Despite the popularity of using credit cards and debit cards for grocery shopping, physical checks are still considered a viable payment option. During checkout, a customer can write a physical check to pay for their purchases.

Physical checks can also be used as a replacement for lost or stolen cards. In such a situation, a customer can write a physical check to cover their groceries in the meantime until they retrieve their lost or stolen card.

How to Properly Use Paper Checks

Paper checks, despite being common, are not always used correctly. In some cases, people forget to update their checkbook records or take extra security precautions when using them.

Updating Checkbook Records

It is essential to update checkbook records regularly to avoid writing a check when there are insufficient funds or duplicating checks. It is also important to keep a record of the date, payee, check amount, and check number in the checkbook.

By documenting this information on the checkbook, it becomes easier to reconcile bank statements. Extra

Security Precautions

Safety precautions should be taken when mailing checks, especially when sent through mailrooms or with a mail staff.

Before mailing the check, the individual should sign the check and ensure that it cannot be altered. Envelopes should also be sealed and properly labeled, making it easier for the recipient to identify the correspondence.

It is also critical for individuals to monitor their bank accounts regularly to ensure that no unauthorised transactions occur.


While digital payment methods have risen in popularity, paper checks still play a vital role in today’s world. As highlighted, paper checks are still essential for several different transactions.

However, it is essential to note that the use of paper checks requires adherence to proper check-writing etiquette. Following proper check-writing procedures can be time-consuming, but it ensures that the check holder avoids problems such as insufficient funds or unauthorized usage of the check.

Paper checks offer several benefits that digital payment methods cannot match. Despite the rise of electronic payment methods, paper checks are still an essential payment option in several industries.

Below are three significant benefits of using paper checks when making payments.

Flexibility of Payment Options

One of the benefits of paper checks is that they offer a flexible payment option. In most cases where cash is required, but neither party has it, individuals can write a check to make the payment.

It is also important to note that not all businesses or services accept credit or debit cards. This can be due to varying reasons, including transaction fees, technical malfunctions or limitations of equipment or systems.

In such cases, paper checks are a reliable and convenient option, especially when specific amounts are needed. Greater Financial


Paper checks offer a higher level of security compared to digital transactions.

With a paper check, both parties have written proof of the transaction. This written record makes it easy for both parties to keep track of the payment and identify any discrepancies.

Moreover, paper checks require a signature for the transaction to be complete, making it difficult for fraudsters to forge signatures compared to digital transactions. Another significant security advantage of paper checks is its resistance to credit card fraud.

Credit card fraud is one of the largest cybersecurity threats globally, costing millions of dollars in losses annually. Credit card numbers can be stolen with a magnet strip reader, or an interception of a virtual credit card shipment.

Unlike credit cards, paying with paper checks does not require a customer to share their bank account details. In addition, a customer can limit acquiring only the sum written on the check rather than risking having the entirety of their account funds being compromised.

Credit Building Opportunities

Writing checks can help individuals build their credit history. Credit history is an essential financial measure used by lenders when evaluating a persons creditworthiness.

A consistent payment practice on a checking account can provide credibility when applying for loans, lines of credit, or even rental/lease agreements. When writing a check, it is essential to ensure that it is completed accurately and the proper amount is paid according to the payee.

Making consistent payments is crucial to establishing credit history. Credit scores are often used as a measure of financial responsibility, and good credit scores are viewed positively.

In contrast, check bounces and defaults can hurt a person’s credit history.


Paper checks offer several unique advantages that digital transactions cannot replicate. The flexibility of payment options, greater financial security, and credit-building opportunities are just a few of the benefits of using paper checks.

Despite the rise of digital payment methods, paper checks remain a relevant and essential payment option. This form of payment can be especially useful when paying for specific services that do not accept other forms of payment or as a preferred method by contractors, freelancers, and small businesses.

In addition, paper checks offer a level of accountability that is not always possible with digital transactions. Given these benefits, it is clear that paper checks will continue to be a valuable financial tool for years to come.

In conclusion, although digital payment methods are on the rise, paper checks remain an essential tool in several industries. In addition to providing payment flexibility and credit-building opportunities, paper checks offer greater financial security with a unique level of accountability that is not always possible with digital transactions.

From hiring contractors to paying for school fees to grocery shopping or paying for physical magazine subscriptions, the use of paper checks continues to be relevant in today’s society. Therefore, it is crucial to understand their benefits and use them properly to take full advantage of all that they have to offer.

Remember, paper checks offer a level of validation and security unmatched by other payment methods, so take the time to use them correctly to benefit from the rewards they bring.

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