Most young ones of nowadays don’t know how to fill out a check , there are lots of adults who are also caught up with rapidly changing times and seem to have lost touch with stuffs like checks. Checks seem to have become lost arts, and writing personal checks that used to make even minor transactions feel official, seem to be useless nowadays. Checks are very beautiful, the handwritings of the issuer, even writing the issuer’s personal names as well as the amount to be paid and signing the check at the bottom right corner, makes the whole check looks more personal and special.
Since newer and more convenient payment ways have evolved in recent times, payments through checks has dropped by as much as 50% from the year 2000 to 2015 when the use of electronic card payment systems flourished. According to a GOBankinRates poll conducted in 2016, roughly 38% of the 1,500 Americans interviewed admitted they had left the checkbooks unused. Ironically, it was discovered online that the search for ‘How to fill out a check” on Google increased more than five times- this was according to an article published in Washington post.
According to the US Feds, more than 18 billion checks were written in the United States alone in 2016, which is a proof that checks still has a place in this technologically-driven world. There are several reasons why checks have been on the decline, these include the following;
- Mobile apps seems to do the same job faster and better. The increasing use of smartphone apps such as Google wallet, and Apple pay seems to make it easier for people to transfer money from one account to another. In the first quarter of 2015, smartphone app- Venmo recorded a quarterly profit of about $1 billion, in peer-to-peer payments online, and according to a research, Venmo will record a profit of about $86 billion, in the next three years.
- Retails seems to accept tech in place of checks. Checks are being replaced at point of sale by mobile tech device such as smart debit and credit cards. Most online retails as well as physical groceries stores do prefer customers to pay with their electronic cards instead of checks, because checks take much longer to process.
- Online financial transactions are offering incentives for electronic payments- One of the reasons why people are being lured into using checks alternatives is because they want to save the environment. A lot of trees are fell, and converted into papers used in making checks, but with electronic check versions such as “e-checking” and “green-checking”, many brick and mortar checking centers are being closed down for electronic checking systems. Most banks also offer zero fees for all transactions that are performed with the use of e-checking or e-payment systems.
Most people believe that checks will eventually die of naturally considering the fact that 60% of young ones within ages 18 and 25 have never held checks, however, more than 75% of adults who have attained age 55 and above still make use of traditional paper checks for their daily transactions. Many people will argue that paper checks are still vulnerable to a number of security problems, for instance, a checkbook can be lost, hence someone can pick it up and forge signatures and names, and defrauding the original owner of a huge amount of money.
How to fill out a check
Even if you are not going to gold a check for the rest of your life, you should learn how to fill one and the reason being that a situation may arise when checks become necessary, for instance when paying rent. According to a survey, more than 70% of renters in the US still prefer to pay their monthly rent by check. Here is an easy step for filling out checks;
Step #1: Write the date you are filling out the check on the top right corner of the check. You must write the date according to the format printed on the check, for instance; the date, month, and year formats must be followed accordingly. You may also write out the date with full names (for instance 13th of June, 2017), when using numbers, make sure the format printed on the check is followed (for instance 1/31/2017).
Step #2: Enter the name of the recipient. There is a line labelled “Pay to the order of”. You need to put the names of the recipient in this column, make sure you write his or her full names, that is the first and the last names. You may also put the names of the group or company you are paying here. Make sure the correct spellings are used.
Step #3: Enter the amount you are paying. This column is usually located to the right of the check and comes with a dollar ($) sign. Do not round up or make an estimate of the amount, simply write the actual amount. A check of $154.77 should not be rounded up to 155$.
Step #4: repeat writing the dollar amount but in this situation, write it out in words. For instance, you should write $154.77 as one hundred and fifty four dollars, seventy-seven cent. You need to take not of the fact that spaces in-between the words are optional except when they are specified. If you have enough space at the end of the filling, you must draw a line there to prevent anyone else from adding extra figure.
Step #5: Fill out the memo area- though this may be optional in most cases, this is located at the bottom left and it allows you to put what the payment is meant for. For instance “For school fees” or “monthly rent”.
Step #6: Sign the check. You need to note that your check remains invalid until you sign your name. The signature box is located at the bottom right corner. Similarly, you need to sign the back of your check and write your name and the name of the recipient.