Modern payment methods in the United States range from EMV chip cards to digital wallets to bitcoin; however, there’s one traditional form of payment that has managed to survive the shift towards digital.
The use of paper checks by American business entities and individuals remains uncomfortably high in the 21st century. A 2013 survey by the Association of Financial Professionals indicated that half of all U.S. companies were happy using old-fashioned checks for their payment transactions.
In 2016, a survey conducted among 120 American retailers revealed that only half of respondents were interested in going digital for their payment methods; among those that were still using checks, 10% stated that they had no intention of switching to electronic payments ever.
The most surprising data of the aforementioned 2016 survey is that they half of the respondents explained that 3/4 of their payments were still made by writing out checks. Some of these retailers do not accept checks from shoppers, but they will still write and mail a check when they need to make a payment to a vendor. The only electronic payments they make are to international vendors.
When it comes to the adoption of electronic payment methods and advanced credit card processing, the U.S. is notorious for being a slow adopter. Many Latin American nations have virtually eliminated checking accounts in lieu of express deposit accounts with debit cards for consumers and electronic ledgers for business entities; this is a financial trend that dates back to 2005. Even the switch to EMV credit card processing is taking much longer than expected in the U.S.
Retailers and other businesses still using company checkbooks in the U.S. need to realize that a significant amount of fraud is perpetrated through gaining access to checking account information, which can be easily collected from each and every check printed.
Electronic payment platforms and credit card processing offer far more security measures to prevent theft and fraud, and they tend to be less costly than checking accounts. Automating the accounts payable process with digital platforms is clearly the most sensible way of doing business in the 21st century, and this is something that the American enterprise world should realize. Host Merchant Services takes pride in helping businesses switch over to using electronic payments, which are far more secure and up-to-date in the 2016 business world.