Check or check card? How many people reading this column still use checks at the grocery store? Is this out of convenience or because this is what you are to doing?
In the past, people would write a check because that is all there was (besides cold hard cash). Today there are more options to pay with, many which provide points or rewards when used.
One reason some will write a check instead of using their check card, is to possibly float funds for a day or two. In the "old" days, merchants would go to their bank to make a deposit of all the days' checks.
Once in the bank, the persons account wouldn't actually be debited for one or two days. This would mean that a person could write a check without having the actual money to back a check in their account (at least for a day or two).
Today it is different. In today's highly technical world, a person writing a check at Publix has their account checked for available funds when they are checking out.
Check writers are no longer able to float checks until they get paid tomorrow. This system (known as Check 21) has helped merchants receive their money quicker also cut back on returned checks as the merchant knows right away if the check is valid or not.
Although there is nothing wrong with check writing, there are many advantages to using a check card. Advantages such as reward programs and fraud security make using a check or credit card easier and safer than carrying a checkbook around with you.
Check cards are easy to get and even easier to use. If there is a question you have about banking, email us or contact us and we'll be glad to help.