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May 18, 2018

Do I still need checks?

Banking/Personal Finance, General Information

woman with phone smiling at cameraIt’s common for most of your financial transactions to take place online these days. It’s so convenient and quick to pay your bills or send someone money through an app that you may find yourself thinking, “Do I need checks at all?” Believe it or not, you may still need paper checks from time to time. Below are some reasons you might need to use paper checks and when to opt for digital banking instead.

When do I need checks?

Paper checks still come in handy sometimes, and some places may even require them. Here are some situations where you might want or need to use a check:

  • When you don’t have online access. If the Internet is unavailable and you don’t have cash, you can often pay by check. This could be especially helpful in emergencies.
  • To make payments anywhere that doesn’t accept credit or debit cards. Some government offices, organizations, small businesses and many landlords only accept checks for payments. If a business or office doesn’t accept credit or debit cards, using a check rather than cash gives you a record of payment and can help you if there’s a dispute about payment.
  • To avoid retailer fees or minimum purchase requirements when using a credit or debit card. Businesses have to pay for the equipment used to process card payments, so many charge a fee or require a minimum purchase amount to use your cards for payment. Using a check instead can save you money at these retailers.
  • Sending money through the mail. If you want to send money as a gift, it’s safer to send a check rather than cash in the mail.

When should you opt for digital banking instead of checks?

Although paper checks are still necessary sometimes, here are some situations in which digital banking outweighs the benefits of paper checks:

  • When you don’t have access to a secure mailbox. Leaving a check in a public mailbox can leave you vulnerable to theft. If you can’t get to a secure mailbox, it’s better to make a payment online or by phone.
  • If you’re not in the habit of tracking your spending. If you don’t regularly balance your checkbook, use an online banking system to help keep track of your transactions so you don’t overspend. Tracking your spending also helps you identify fraudulent charges that might have gone unnoticed otherwise.
  • If you’re concerned about identity theft. Checks have a lot of identifying information—as well as your account number and routing number—so making payments or transfers with online banking is more secure.
  • Plus, if you use Mission Fed’s Mobile or Online Banking to do your Bill Pay, you’ll save on postage, have access to all of your accounts 24/7 and know your available balance in real-time.

Paper checks are necessary in some situations, but digital banking is often a better option. For the best of both worlds, keep paper checks on hand and sign up for Mobile or Online Banking to enjoy all of the digital banking benefits, like Mobile Deposit for checks in our Mobile Banking app. Mission Federal Credit Union Checking Accounts provide free unlimited check writing and free Mobile and Online Banking so you can enjoy convenient online access, and still use paper checks when you need to. Whether you’re more comfortable with older technology, or prefer the latest and greatest, Mission Fed can help you make the most of your banking experience. Your success is our bottom line.

The content provided in this blog consists of the opinions and ideas of the author alone and should be used for informational purposes only. Mission Federal Credit Union disclaims any liability for decisions you make based on the information provided. References to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name in this article by Mission Federal Credit Union is for the information and convenience of its readers and does not constitute endorsement, control or warranty by Mission Federal Credit Union.

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