It’s easy to think of check writing as a thing of the past, but there are payment systems that are digital like Venmo, Zelle, and Apple Pay, but there are some situations when it’s better to utilize them. In these instances, it’s more secure or more convenient to make use of a personal or a paper check, how to utilize checks safely, as well as when it’s acceptable to avoid them.

You might want to make checks in any of the following circumstances:

  • Shop at a small business
  • Giving money as a gift
  • Tracing important payments
  • You can protect your identity by securing it.

Shopping at a Small Business

Because of their size and credit card processing costs, some small companies don’t take credit cards. A study found that only 27% of small-scale businesses prefer digital payment methods (think ApplePay or credit card) over traditional payments (cash cheques, checks, and money orders). So, if you are hiring someone to cut your lawn, purchase items from a local market (or flea markets vendor), or even have a dog walker, you might prefer to have a checking account available to pay them.

Gifting Money

If you’re in a hurry and are heading to a wedding, birthday party, or another special event in your family this could mean putting money into a card. However, if you’re giving money as presents, checks may be better than cash. While both checks and cash are likely to be lost in the excitement of unwrapping presents, one of them is specifically addressed to the person and one isn’t. This may help the recipient to remember who gifted them the money. If they put the cash to the side and then return it later, they won’t remember who gifted the money to them. Giving money by check could also encourage the recipient to put the money away rather than spend them in a hurry. You’ll need to go to an institution or use an app on their mobile for depositing or cashing it, which can take a little more effort.

Tracing Important Payments

When making a large payment, such as a down payment on the purchase of a house, a tuition payment for college or a deposit for a wedding venue, or a payment to a government institution like the IRS it is possible to make a check-in paper. This can help ensure your payment was made because you’ll be able to see the date that the other party deposits or cashes the check in the next bank statement or through your bank’s website.

Some banks can even provide the image of the check that was cashed to verify that it’s right. This can also help to prevent the payment of any charges for late payments since the transactions will be all dated. Additionally, in the event that your check is lost or stolen, you can request to change the date of your payment using your bank’s customer service phone number or online on your bank’s website. For a stop payment to be placed on an unpaid check, you’ll need to pick”stop payments” or the “stop payment” option via your bank’s online portal.

However, you must do so before the value checks are cashed. You might also have to enter your account number, the check’s number, and the total amount in the amount of the cash. Take note that you will likely be charged a fee to stop a check. These charges vary from one bank to bank, but you could pay about thirty dollars for stopping the cheque and some banks will cost more.

If You’ve Been the Victim of Fraud

Do you have sensitive financial information that has been compromised or stolen? It’s not a problem for everyone. A study revealed that in 2018, 14.4 million people in the U.S. were victims of identity fraud in the amount of around $3.4 billion worth of loss. Even worse, that same study showed that more victims were required to pay from their own pocket to cover the cost of that fraud. With these numbers, it’s only natural to like to keep your personal information secure if you’ve already dealt with something similar.

Many customers return to making cash or checks with paper instead of using their credit or debit cards at local stores. They can also refuse to submit their payment details online at retail websites or make use of online and electronic payment options. While writing a paper-based check isn’t a foolproof method making sure your information is secure online and not using your credit card with caution could assist in reducing the likelihood that you are a victim of fraud, identity theft, and other financial criminal acts.