Nearly Half of Americans Haven’t Written a Check in the Last Year: Here’s What They’re Doing Instead


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Although check writing was the primary means of money exchange in the 1980s, the practice is rarely used today. Compared to the instant gratification of a quick Venmo or Zelle payment, checks are a much slower exchange of funds.

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However, while this process is a slower form of payment, it is still commonly used by homeowners, contractors, and real estate agents. Also, for people without internet access, having a checkbook is a necessity. Still, while writing a check remains a reliable method of taking care of expenses, this old-school technique is now being dwarfed by newer and faster online payment options.

According to a recent survey by GOBankinrRates, 45% of Americans have not written a check in the past year. In light of this data, let’s take a closer look to find out what alternative methods Americans are using to exchange money.

45% of Americans did not write a check in 2022

While check writing may be less popular than it used to be, 55% of Americans still wrote a check last year. According to our survey, last year, 15% of Americans wrote a few checks a month, 12% wrote fewer than six checks, 23% wrote a check once a month, and 5% wrote more than 12 checks.

While many Americans didn’t write checks last year, the practice was less popular among those under 54. Our survey results showed that 43% of those ages 18-24 did not write a check in the past year, along with 49% of those age 25. to 34, 47% of those aged 35-44 and 49% of those aged 45-54. While the practice may be waning, many Americans in the 55+ age group still write a few checks a month, with 24% in the age group. 55 to 64 age group and 25% in the 65+ in this age group reporting this.

On the other hand, some age groups reported writing only one check per month in 2022: 28% of 18-24 year olds and 24% of those 65 and older fell into this category. By contrast, only 17% of people in the 45-64 age group reported writing checks once a month.

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Why check writing is getting weird

Today’s digital landscape is affecting the way everyone handles their money as the exchange of finances shifts to a more virtual sphere and the need for physical checks decreases.

“In addition to the occasional property tax bill or service person who only accepts checks and credit cards; electronic payments can handle everything else,” said Jay Zigmont, PhD, CFP and founder of Childfree Wealth. “It may not be about using fancy apps or tools, but just using basic credit cards and EFT (electronic funds transfers).”

How Americans are exchanging money today

If you’ve never written a check before, the idea of ​​writing numbers on a piece of paper and hoping the money will find its way into the right hands can seem like a risk, especially with the most secure and instant money transfer methods available today. .

Payment apps like Venmo and PayPal often require a biometric evaluation of your face or finger to authenticate money transfers. They also prevent users from re-entering their security details and have purchase options for additional protection against risk. These details added to trusted payment apps are leading many users to opt for the digital sphere and move away from paper payment methods.

Most popular payment apps in 2023

PayPal, Venmo, and Zelle continued to conquer the digital payments sphere in 2022 and are the top contenders for payment apps in the new year.


With 432 million users at the end of 2022, PayPal is the world’s largest online payment processing site, according to Statista. With its intuitive design and high encryption standards, many users prefer this app for its security and convenience.


Whether you want to buy your friend her next coffee or send your aunt some gas money for a ride to the airport, you can’t beat the convenience and simplicity of Venmo. Venmo users can transfer money directly to their bank account or debit card in 30 minutes or less, and the service is a great option for sending money to colleagues and family. Venmo requires a verified bank account to transfer money, and users can add additional security by adding a PIN or two-step verification to their account.


Similar to Venmo, Zelle is a popular payment app for peer-to-peer payments that allows users to send and receive money between banks instantly. In addition to having a mobile app, Zelle is also offered within the apps of many of the major banks and credit unions in the US. Transfers in this app are free to users and offer free immediate payments.

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Methodology: GOBankingRates surveyed 1,000 Americans age 18 and older from across the country between December 7-12, 2022, asking them nineteen different questions: (1) What category is your current financial institution in?; (2) Have you considered changing banks in the last year?; (3) If you have considered changing banks in the last year, was it any of the following factors? (select all that apply):; (4) What feature, benefit, or other offer is most important to you when opening an account at a new institution?; (5) Are you currently satisfied with all banking products and services offered by your bank/credit union?; (6) Would you ever have different types of accounts at various banks? (ie, checking account at Chase, but savings account at TD Bank); (7) What is your preferred banking method?; (8) Which of the following is the most important factor for you to stay at your current bank?; (9) Which of the following bank accounts do you currently use or have open? (Select all that apply); (10) What is the minimum balance that you maintain in your Checking Account?; (11) How much do you currently have in your Savings Account?; (12) How much of a sign-up bonus would make you consider changing banks; (13) Have you considered using app-only banking platforms (also known as neobanks) in the last year (eg Current, Upgrade, Chime, Dave, etc.); (14) How important is it to you that your bank is affiliated with a cryptocurrency exchange/platform?; (15) In the last year, how often have you written a physical check?; (16) When was the last time you personally visited your bank?; (17) Why would you choose to visit your bank in person? (Select all that apply); (18) When you think of banking, do you think of it as something you need or don’t need?; and (19) What services/products do you expect from your bank and/or credit union? (Select all that apply.) GOBankingRates used the PureSpectrum survey platform to conduct the survey.

This article originally appeared on Nearly Half of Americans Haven’t Written a Check in the Past Year: Here’s What They’re Doing Instead


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