Survey: Check usage declines

Survey: Check usage declines

A new survey shows that people in the UK that they don’t write as many checks as they used to. However, the new figures, from Which?, also say that consumers are not ready to give checks up and begin paying by card just yet. Some retailers, on the other hand, have either already quit accepting cards or are looking at doing so.

In the Which? survey, while 72 percent of respondents said that they write fewer checks that they did five years ago, 60 percent said that they still find that paying by check is “very useful”. Not all of the diminished usage of checks is voluntary on the part of consumers. Shell (LSE: RDSA, RDSB; NYSE: RDS.A, RDS.B) stopped accepting checks at its gasoline stations in 2005, while Boots (LSE: AB) stopped allowing their use in its High Street stores recently. Tesco (LSE: TSCO) and Asda, the UK unit of Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), are both testing customer reaction to banning the use of checks for payment in their stores.

Still, the Federation of Small Businesses said that most of its members – and most small businesses generally – still accept checks as payment. A spokesman for the FSB said that while check use will likely end eventually, banning their use is the wrong approach.


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