A friend of mine’s Facebook status message reminded me to develop this post. He may not think that this was sitting in my Drafts for a couple of weeks now, but it really has been!
Can we all agree that the check is to the finance industry as the cassette tape is to the music industry? It’s a dead technology! Yes, at one time, it was revolutionary. But it’s inconvenient, better money-swapping systems are in place now, and the biggest flaw of all is that the check relies on other human beings to take an action before the transaction is complete. In other words, you have to politely wait for a person to physically go to a bank and deposit the check and then you have to wait for more humans inside that bank to process the check. FAIL.
And what if something happens to the check that’s completely out of your hands? Checks get lost in the mail all the time. They’re easily forged or faked and if you even ask a retailer if they take checks, you get blank stares. Restaurants don’t even take checks anymore. They’re like, “Haha, nice try asshole. You’d have been better off if you dined and dashed.”
In this day and age of instant gratification, taking days or even weeks to have money taken out of your account is absolutely agonizing. When people used to write checks at the grocery store, they probably thought it was the most convenient thing ever because they didn’t have to take time out of their day to specifically go to the bank, guess at how much they needed to spend on food, take that money out, and then shop with it.
And why are checks still in existence? One reason. To pay rent.
Honestly, between debit cards and PayPal, I have no idea why it’s necessary for any of us to pay rent via check now. That’s the most galling thing ever. How come there is no solution for landlords to accept PayPal? If I were a landlord, I’d totally sign up for that shit. I’d tell all my tenants that hey, I don’t need to conduct a thorough credit/background/cavity check; if you have a PayPal account, it means you’ve gone through some legal system to prove you have a checking account and you can pay me rent. Plus, then it’d save ME from having to go to the bank and physically deposit checks. And let’s be honest, who has time for that? I have tweeting and Facebooking to do.
In all seriousness, the lack of common courtesy by most people to go to the bank and quickly cash personal checks is one of the most aggravating things on the planet. The issue is only exacerbated when a person asks you to pay them right away or sets a deadline and then that person sits on your check for weeks. Granted, if you keep up your balance book or can constantly deduct the amount from your checking account when you log in to check your balance (as I do), you’re okay. It doesn’t take away the aggravation, though.
If you have money to burn, you don’t worry about this at all. You’re one of those people we hand-to-mouth people detest because you’ll say things like, “Oh I never even noticed that my check hadn’t cashed!” Shutup.
Someone needs to FIX THIS and figure out a way for us rent payers (mortgage payers too? I have no idea) to use PayPal or something equally instantaneous and gratifying. Lastly, do you know how long it takes me to go through a single BOX of checks? Years. I just switched to a new box that finally has my correct address on it after three years of it having an address I lived in for a mere six months. Ridiculous!
If someone has an idea on how to overhaul this annoying process, I’d love to hear it. Death to checks!