There is a tendency to view check writing as a thing of the past now that there are payment systems that are digital such as Venmo, Zelle, and Apple Pay, but there are still some instances where it’s more beneficial to use paper checks. These are the instances when it’s better or safer to choose a personal check, how to use checks in a safe manner, and when it’s OK to skip them.

You may wish to write an advance check in one of these situations:

  • Shopping at a small-scale business
  • Cash gifts
  • Tracing important payments
  • You can protect your identity by securing it.

Shopping at a Small Business

Due to their size and processing fees, some small companies aren’t willing to accept credit card payments. One study found that just 27% of small businesses prefer digital payments (think credit cards or ApplePay) in preference to non-digital payment (cash or checks, as well as money orders). So if you hire someone to cut your lawn, purchase items at a local shop or flea-market vendor, or even hire a dog walker, you might want to keep a checkbook in your wallet to pay them.

Gifting Money

If you’re running out of time and planning to attend an event like a birthday celebration, wedding, or other celebration of the family it’s likely that you’ll need to put cash into a credit card. But when giving money as the gift of a loved one, value priced checks might be a better option over cash. While both cash and checks are easily lost in the excitement of unwrapping presents, one is specifically addressed to the recipient and the other is not.

This could help the recipient recall who gave them the cash. If they store the money on the side and return it later, they won’t remember who gifted the money to them. Gifting money via check may help the recipient save the money rather than spending them instantly. They’ll have to visit the bank or use an app on their mobile for depositing or cashing it, which can take some extra effort.

Tracing Important Payments

In the event of a large-scale installment for something like a down payment on the purchase of a house, a college tuition payment, a deposit for a reception venue or even paying a government institution like the IRS It is recommended to make a check-in paper. It will ensure that your payment is received since you’ll know how the other party deposit or cashes your check in your bank’s next statement or through your bank’s online platform. Some banks may even provide you with the image of the check that was cashed to verify that it’s right. This could even prevent you from having to pay costs for late payments as the transactions will be all dated.

Additionally, in the event that your check gets lost or stolen, you can request to cancel your payment through the customer service line or online using your bank’s website. If you wish to stop payment on your check, it is necessary to choose the “stop payment” option via the online portal for your bank. You must do it before the check has been cashed. It is also possible to enter the account number, check number, and the amount of your check. Take note that you’ll likely need to pay a fee to stop the check. The costs vary from the bank you are using to stop it, however, you could be charged around $30,000 to stop the transaction, and some banks might have to charge more.

If You’ve Been the Victim of Fraud

Has your sensitive financial information been compromised or stolen? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. One study found that in the year 2018, 14.4 million people in the U.S. were victims of identity fraud, to the tune of $3.4 billion. The worst part is that the same study revealed that more victims had to pay out of their own pocket to pay for the costs of this fraud.

Given these numbers is logical that you’d be keen to keep your data safe if you’ve dealt with something similar. A lot of people return to cash or paper checks in lieu of swiping a debit or credit card in local stores. They can also refuse to enter their payment information online at retail websites or utilize online and digital payment services. While writing checks on paper isn’t the most secure method of protecting your confidential information in a secure location and using your credit cards less can reduce the risk of identity theft, fraud, and other financial crimes.