Traditional vs. Digital Payments: Why Do Americans Still Favor Checks?

Discover   Written by Eve Zaidan on Aug 15, 2019    

Despite moving toward a digital transformation, a vast majority of customers in the U.S. are still favoring checks to get paid and make payment - why is that?

In an eager attempt to find out why a customer would rather take the time to physically deposit a check than to simply process an online payment, we opened a forum for a small group of Managed Service Providers (MSPs), and you'd be surprised to discover exactly what they had to say...

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"I'd rather visit the bank, than break it!"


Does this line sound familiar to you? Whether or not you've heard a statement along those lines, it would definitely come as a surprise to an Australian customer. In Australia, the fintech market is rapidly rising; in fact, the country's well on its way toward becoming "one of the world's top markets for fintech innovation and investment." So, why are Americans so reluctant to embrace digital payments? 

Our Global Sales Lead, Hany, recently spoke to a customer based in the U.S., who sharply affirmed, that his main reason for physically depositing checks (instead of taking online payments), is that his office is located right next to a bank and he simply, "doesn't mind."

"It [only] takes me five minutes to deposit a check..."

Further to this, we spoke to another customer who stated that he would rather "stop by the bank once or twice a week" to avoid credit card charges, while getting to know the bank's staff whom as a result, he'll be better positioned to rely on for assistance even when dealing with potential fraud.

We also learned that for U.S. customers with a low number of high-value transactions, accepting credit cards instead of checks (or 'cheques') is often seen as a "waste," which brings us to...

"Credit Cards Are Eating My Margins..."

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When analyzing the most effective payment methods, it's essential to distinguish America as an entirely separate entity from its global counterparts. This is largely due to the fact, that unlike Australia, the United Kingdom or Denmark (whom have entirely stopped distributing checks), the U.S. continues to largely advocate them.

The primary reason why Americans favor checks, is because there are zero fees. On the other hand, credit card payments charge between 2-3.3% on average, which is a significant percentage taken off the top; especially for small business owners.


While this may be true, this predicament begs the question - 

Did You Know You Can On-Charge Upfront? 

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As we've now established, one of the main reasons why customers are reluctant to accept digital payments, is due to "hefty" credit card fees. However, are you aware that there's actually a way around this? In finding a faster, more efficient and effective solution to checks, it's time to unveil the great reveal: On-charge. 

If credit card fees is your main reason for not all-embracing digital payments, then it's time to meet Wise-Pay - your worry-free billing solution. When you use a payment service such as IntegraPay, BrainTree, or Authorize.Net for example, combined with Wise-Pay, your complete billing solution awaits.

"I've got 99 problems but making payroll ain't one." 

- A customer who only accepts preauthorized debits

How? We actually set-up an on-charge for you! So, whenever taking payment, we ensure the upfront total includes the credit card transaction fee. This means you won't have to (ever) worry about being charged additional fees on-top; it's simply covered during the initial charge. 

With these digital payment solutions, long gone are the stressful days of checks bouncing, waiting for a payment to clear and of course, enduring the painful procurement and double entry errors that come with any manual process.

En Route to a Digital Transformation

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In case you missed our feature on How to Embrace a Digital Transformation, revolutionizing your payment system is an integral part in defining the future of your business.

Leading by example, Australia is well-renowned for its efforts toward achieving a complete digital revolution, in particular, through tech and finance with 'cheque' use declining by a staggering 77% in the last decade alone.

With the future of finance promising a complete digital transformation, there's no time like the present to ensure your business is making the right moves to get there. 

If you would like to find out more about Wise-Pay and how we can provide you with your very own stress-free billing solution, simply visit here. In the meantime, learn how to tackle sales in our previous blog, MSP Best Practice: How to Win at Customer Service