By Keith Hamilton | January 28, 2015
It’s safe to assume the use of paper checks as a payment method has declined in recent years. However, when we look a little more closely at the groups using checks, it’s much harder to make such a blanket statement. Unsurprisingly, consumer-to-business check use has experienced a steep decline. According to the 2013 Federal Reserve Payments Study, personal check use has exhibited an annual decline average of 9.2% since 2009. Online bill payment and card-based POS systems have revolutionized the way consumers pay bills and pay for goods and services, making these kinds of check payments almost obsolete. Regarding consumer-to-consumer check payments, there has actually been very little change since 2009, which indicates that new person-to-person payment products either haven’t been created or haven’t been widely adopted.
Companies in the United States still use paper checks as their main method of business-to-business payment, and here’s why: it’s simply easier to continue to pay with printed checks rather than incur the cost and hassle of converting to electronic payments. According to the 2013 AFP Electronic Payments Survey:
When it comes to payments, organizations report that their B2B customers also use ACH credits, wire transfers, ACH debits, card payments and even single-use accounts. However, 42% of all payments made by major business customers still involve checks. According to these numbers, check use may be in decline overall, but for business-to-business payments, they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
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