Why People Still Use Paper Checks

August 10, 2021

Why People Still Use Paper Checks

With the emergence of digital wallets and mobile payment systems, one might assume paper checks have become outdated. But is that really accurate? 

There's no doubt that the world has been rapidly shifting towards making cash and check payments obsolete, but we're not there yet. Personal printed checks, in particular, still have a significant impact on how we do business and make payments.

Let's explore how and why paper checks have defied obsolescence and remained useful in the digital age. 

What Are Checks and Where Do You Get Them?

It's seemingly an easy answer. A check is a rectangular piece of paper outlining the payee's name, the amount paid, and the payor's signature.

However, that's a simplified definition and doesn't fully encapsulate the meaning and importance of a personal check. A more thorough explanation is that a check is a type of negotiable instrument, a signed document promising a specific amount to one particular person or business. Essentially, a check is a kind of bill of exchange that allows transactions between two or more parties without any exchange of physical currency. 

In terms of history, checks have been around for a long time. The oldest recorded use in the U.S. dates back to the 1790s, but there's even historical evidence that people used something very much like checks in Ancient Rome. 

But how do you get checks these days? Typically, people order personal checks from their bank. They pick up pre-printed sets and fill them out by hand when they need them. However, a much more efficient, time-saving, and cost-effective option is to use a check printing service.

When to Use a Personal Check

In many ways, a personal check is the same as a debit card. The difference is that it's processed in a slower time frame. There are specific situations when paying with a paper check is a great option.

Business to Business Payments

Many business owners prefer checks to credit card payments. The main reason is the lack of usage fees associated with paper checks. Checks are also an excellent way to control the cash flow in a company. The built-in delay that comes with the checks is one of the significant benefits for businesses. 

Smaller businesses, in particular, may opt not to incorporate credit card payments and rely on checks alone. In many ways, these businesses singlehandedly ensure that paper checks remain relevant.

Consumer to Business Payments

Some businesses that prefer paying their partners with checks might also ask their customers to do likewise. Not all businesses offer direct online payment options, and some require customers to send checks.

On the other hand, some people don't own debit or credit cards, nor do they use mobile payments. For them, paying with cash or check is the only option, and they might seek out businesses that accept them.

Paying a one-time fixed service, paying your tuition, and paying rent are all great examples of when checks might be the go-to option. 

Consumer to Consumer Payments

Checks are a fantastic option for peer-to-peer payments as well. They're particularly convenient when you're issuing a payment to another individual. For example, perhaps your friend loaned you a sum of money, and you want to pay them back in a single payment. A paper check is a perfect way to do so.

For consumer-to-consumer payments, checks are often a more secure and appropriate payment method than cash. Worried that the new used Xbox you bought from a guy on Craigslist isn't going to work when you get it home? With a check, you can cancel the payment before it's deposited if you realize there's a problem.

Benefits of Check Printing Service

Filling out the name of a person or a business, adding the amount, and signing a check doesn't seem like it would take too long, right? But what happens if you're a small business owner paying a couple dozen vendors and employees at the end of the month? This process quickly becomes inconvenient, impractical, and hand-cramping. It has pushed some people to stop using checks altogether.

However, there's an easier option — check printing services. All you have to do is enter your banking information, customize the check's appearance, and print them at your home or office with a standard printer.

Small business owners may gain a lot by using a check printing service. Your printed checks can contain the logo, watermark, and anything else you want to be associated with the company. Check printing services are also an excellent way to keep track of all the issued checks and how each was spent.

Finally, whether you're a business owner, an independent contractor, or a person who just prefers to pay with checks, having direct access to freshly printed checks is a major benefit. You don't have to wait for the bank to send a pre-printed check or a checkbook — you can make it by yourself.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Check Printing Service

There are many check printing services available online, some of which are even free. However, it's probably best to be cautious of free options as the service and security might be inferior and outdated. 

Some services will also be overpriced with all the extras and add-on features. Don't be fooled by those either. Make sure that the check printing company offers integrations, various compatibilities, and a broad scope of use, at the very least.

A Few Paper Checks on Hand Never Hurt Anybody

Understandably, paper checks are not the primary payment method for most people. However, that doesn't mean that they don't come in handy from time to time. 

For business owners, paper checks offer the possibility of a financial reprieve and far more control. Furthermore, paper checks are an excellent alternative to cash when you have to pay a debt to a friend or cover a due bill. In fact, checks might be here to stay forever, as their usefulness and reliability are impossible to deny. 


To get the most out of your paper checks, use a reliable and affordable check printing service. Contact ZoomChecks to receive a 14-day free trial now.