Checks have been the way businesses pay for things for many years. While there are many different types of electronic payments available, U.S. businesses pay 50 percent of their bills via paper checks, according to the Wall Street Journal. This includes B2B transactions. Checks are still a part of doing business for a few different reasons.
Other areas of the world, including Japan, Europe and Brazil have embraced electronic payments, but businesses in the U.S. still write physical checks. According to PYMNTS, businesses with revenues under $2 million in annual revenue utilize checks more than larger businesses. Around 90 percent of those businesses using checks believe it's an efficient way to do business, which indicates paper checks will continue to be used as time goes on.
Checks are widely accepted
Most businesses will accept checks, or at least have the equipment available for check processing. This makes paper checks highly valuable. The more places the checks can be utilized the easier it is for the business. Even companies who primarily use electronic payments can accept a check payment in most cases.
Businesses like the payment delay
Some businesses, especially small ones, have to deal with cash flow issues. While you might think having up to date financials is the best way to manage cash flow problems, some companies find that the processing time for regular checks helps them hang on longer before running into trouble. While this isn't a healthy business practice, it is a reality for some companies.
Checks are easy and familiar
One of the main reasons around half of U.S. businesses prefer paper checks is because they have always used them before.
"Businesses know the check system works. It's been around for a long time, and they feel very comfortable with it," Magnus Carlsson, a manager at the Association for Financial Professionals, told the Wall Street Journal.
This familiarity makes using them easy. Also, the technology to sort and process paper checks are already in place in most businesses, giving owners another reason to hang on to their checkbooks, according to Market Watch. This familiarity and ease of use likely means that the decline in check use will occur slowly.
While this typically isn't a problem, not all companies accept paper checks anymore, which can cause minor issues when doing business.
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