Not so long ago, most businesses used checks to make payments. To own a checking account was standard as several payment transactions are done using this payment method. When you have a checkbook, you can make post-dated checks and may be crossed for deposit.
Not an instant payment transaction
Yet, such payment transactions also do have drawbacks when compared to making an online payment. Checks were commonly accepted in places like the UK to be as good as cash. However, since there are other payment methods, a lot of retailers no longer accept check payments as it is not an instant payment transaction.
The trouble with accepting checks
If an individual or a business has a checking account, it means that they have a good payment reputation. Many banking institutions will close the account of owners who issue bounced checks once too often. There are several businesses who still choose to pay using checks but these are no longer paper, as there are e-checks. It is good to use e-checks for transactions, however, there are several businesses who prefer to no longer want to accept post-dated checks to provide a credit line.
About paper checks
These were considered as a great alternative to making cash payments as all one needs to do is to hand over one piece of paper instead of giving a whole load of bills. However, this method of payment, though still in use today, takes a lot more time than making an online payment or sending an e-check. Paper checks have to be handed over or sent via courier. There is a need to be physically near a person for a check to be accepted, and it still has to be deposited into a bank account. After it is deposited, it will still go through a process before clearing.
If the person issued you a bouncing check, it can take days for a replacement check to be issued. In some countries, issuing a bouncing check is a criminal offense. There are those people who do issue checks even when they know that they don’t have the funds. These kinds of people use the trust that others have in them to be able to get the items or the services, without any intention to make good the check.
It is only in recent years that the banking system has those sophisticated machines that can detect if the signature is real or face. There are those who steal a check and forge the signature of the account holder for them to go to the bank and get the cash. Since during those times, no one has online access to their bank accounts, the account holder had no way of knowing if there was a check that had been encashed.
Checks are dated and once it has not been deposited or encashed before that day, it can be a huge problem as there are some banks that do not accept a check after the indicated date. After a certain time period such as 6 months, the value of the check is as worthless as the piece of paper it is written in as it is considered as a stale check.