Wincor Nixdorf Survey Reveals Consumer’s Appreciation for Paper Checks

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

Most Americans still write, receive, and deposit checks every month, the national survey finds. Only 8.4 percent of respondents indicated that they never write checks, and more than a third of respondents stated they do not believe a time will come when they will not need a checkbook.

Of those that are still writing checks, most are using them to make monthly utility and mortgage payments. Recent headlines highlight the developments in electronic P2P and retail P2B payments, but there have been relatively few developments in the high value P2B market. Many consumers have yet to transition to paperless billing because of the time needed to manage separate payment accounts for every biller relationship.

Use of paper checks have been significantly declining in North America and Europe however, as online banking, and bill payments services gain favor with consumers. In November 2009 Britain’s Payment Council began an initiative to phase out paper checks by 2018. While the outcome of the initiative remains unclear, its existence is a testament to the rapidly declining usage of paper checks. Nevertheless, paper checks have not been completely unaffected by the expanding trend of electronic payments. The 2010 Federal Reserve Payment Study estimates that in 2009 approximately 13 percent of checks were deposited as image. Additionally, 97 percent of checks deposited at one institution but drawn on another involved electronic clearing, a 54 percent increase over the 2007 study.

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