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Have checks really fallen out of favor?

While new technology attempts to make transactions instant and eliminate the need for the old-fashioned check, plenty of consumers are still embracing this form of payment. The recession led many to take greater control of their finances and reduce their dependence on credit cards, and as a result there are a great many still relying on checks to make purchases. This makes it critical for business owners to recognize the important role checks play in payments and take the initiative to update their processes without alienating consumers who prefer to use them. 

How many people still use checks? 
Smart Business recently reported on Bank Administration Institute data that revealed almost 60 percent of consumers still used checks to make some payments in 2010. This indicates they are still relevant and frequently used by many. While some companies may be focusing on making the switch to electronic payments, they still need to keep in mind that physical checks play an important role in their customers' lives and they need to retain their ability to process them. 

While individuals are still using checks frequently, business-to-business transactions are seeing even higher use of this type of payment. Smart Business cited a 2012 Aite Group survey, which showed 70 percent of business-to-business transactions rely on checks, making it especially critical for companies that rely on B2B transactions to avoid writing off checks just yet. 

Technology makes check processing easier and more efficient  
Checks still play a prominent role in payment processes and transactions, but that doesn't mean how they're handled isn't changing. It's critical for businesses to still accept these payments, but new technology may help the organizations better process them in the future. 

Even though remote deposit capture technology has existed for years, many companies have failed to implement the tool into their financial strategy. Some may have avoided the technology because they weren't entirely certain how it works or need more information, while others may have neglected to get involved because of their assumption checks would become irrelevant. Because check payments are still ideal for many consumers and B2B transactions, it's imperative for companies to update their strategies and make check capture a part of their strategy. By doing so, an enterprise not only gives clients an increased number of payment options, but also can get a better handle on its finances and ensure any checks are deposited as promptly as possible.

March 13, 2013