Why Do People Still Pay Bills With Paper Checks?

Practical or not, many Americans cling to the old-fashioned checkbook.

We now have credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards, PayPal, ApplePay...the list goes on. Yet the woman at the supermarket ahead of you just pulled out her checkbook. What gives?

While electronic payment options have replaced paper checks as the main alternative to cash, Americans cling to their checkbooks. There’s a practical reason why: Some new payment methods aren’t widely accepted. Your utility company won’t take Venmo, for example, and Walgreens won’t take bitcoins. But both take checks.

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David Muhlbaum
Former Senior Online Editor

In his former role as Senior Online Editor, David edited and wrote a wide range of content for Kiplinger.com. With more than 20 years of experience with Kiplinger, David worked on numerous Kiplinger publications, including The Kiplinger Letter and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. He co-hosted  Your Money's Worth, Kiplinger's podcast and helped develop the Economic Forecasts feature.