No More Personal Checks

No More Personal Checks

Bob
Bob

December 23rd, 2009, 8:50 pm #1

Usually I consider such stories as this too trivial to comment on, but as I write checks a lot more than I use a credit card, this article piqued my interest:

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Ba ... ?GT1=33006


Of course, I am that older, "Baby Boomer" demographic that the story says is holding up progress by still writing checks. But, even though I'm not young, I am not about to "move on" to the afterlife anytime soon. I figure I could have another 30 years, maybe longer, and that is a lot of time (and a large generation of people) to write off as having fading impact.

I prefer checks because, mostly, I trust them more than credit or debit cards. I don't even have a debit card -- I was told that if my credit card were lost, and I promptly reported it to my bank, the limit of my damage would be $50. But, they told me, not so with a debit card -- someone who uses the debit card could drain my account and I would be out the money (this story states that banks cover the cost of lost debit cards, so I'm not sure what I was told years ago is still the case).

My son who is in France has both types of cards but prefers to use his debit, as he claims it is more widely accepted there than a credit card. But bank staff advised me to tell him to be very careful not to lose the debit card, as it does not offer as much protection from loss as the credit card (what I was told long ago).

Of course, increasingly retailers are going to electronic checking, which immediately ascertains the adequancy of funds in the account and the check amount is deducted right then, and there is not the risk of a check that bounces due to insufficient funds. That seems like a reasonable compromise to me: Protects the business from loss, and still allows me to pay from my checking account.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

December 24th, 2009, 12:25 am #2

I rarely writes checks. I use credit (not debit) cards for almost all purchases- and always pay them off each month so no interest charge.
All my monthly bills are paid by automatic bank drafts so I don't have to worry about mailing checks or late charges.

I think it's insane how much people pay on interest and late charges when it is so easy to set up ways that avoid it.
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Bob
Bob

December 24th, 2009, 5:22 pm #3

Did you see the news story last night (NBC, I believe) that said on-line banking can be risky, due to hackers accessing your personal data in the process. The story featured one guy, a businessman, who had #1 million stolen from his banking account by hackers, and then they even prevented the guy from accessing his account. In the end, he wasn't out the money -- much of it was recovered and the rest was covered by the bank. But, it reinforced in my mind why I don't trust or use on-line banking. I don't ever use ATM machines, as I prefer to walk into the bank and conduct transactions with a flesh-and-blood teller (if I don't have the foresight to make withdraws during banking hours, I probably don't need the money that bad -- impulse spending occurs late at night). Works for me! (Plus, I wonder how many bank jobs could be eliminated if most people go to electronic banking . . just as I am concerned that cashiers at the grocery stores will be eliminated if everyone uses those auto-check-out machines. Preserving jobs is more important to me than convenience or cost savings).
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

December 24th, 2009, 6:30 pm #4

Bob the only online thing I do involving money is making credit card purchases. There are laws that protect credit card holders- and I can not be held responsible for any purchase if I notify the card company that it is flatulent. And I have it set up so that I am notified immediately if any purchase over a certain amount or is otherwise suspicious. As for my monthly bills- they are not paid online- but by direct draft between the payee and my bank. Almost all businesses that have monthly bills will do this- they love it because it cheaper for them as well as easier for me. And I love it because I don't even have to think about it.
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