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3 Reasons to Dump Your Checkbook

I don’t write personal checks [3] unless I have no choice (or the alternative is expensive). Whenever possible, I use something electronic, like bill pay, so that I can reduce the amount of paper I’m mailing around in the postal system. While I’ve been fortunate never to have been confronted with a problem using checks, I don’t want to tempt fate by continuing to use them. The reality is that personal checks are simply too insecure to be used.

I’ve talked about using the “internet safety test” and the personal check basically fails. Here are three big reasons why I avoid checks:


Take a look at one of your personal checks and tell me what information it says about you. It has your name, your address, your bank, and your checking account number. If you filled it out, it’ll also have your signature. That’s a tremendous amount of information about you written in plain text and it just takes one peek to have it. Drop it in the mail and a thief opening your mailbox will have access to information you’d rather they not have.

Can Be Lost

Are you mailing the check? Forget the issue of insecurity and the check sitting in a mailbox (you can mitigate that by dropping it in a secure mailbox), there’s the small matter of the postal service losing your check. How many times have you received a magazine or piece of mail that’s been mangled? They kindly wrap it in a plastic bag and send it to you anyway… and that doesn’t even count the stuff they misdeliver or lose. Ever get your neighbor’s mail? It happens all too often.

Checks Need to Be Deposited

Checks are annoying to keep track of. You write a few checks, you send them out, and then you have to confirm that the recipient received them and deposited them in a timely fashion. What if they deposit it a month from now? Or two? Will that cause your account to become overdrawn? Will that result in heavy penalties and fees? It might be a risk with bill pay and other similar services but at least with those services there is a constant reminder that you have an outstanding check. If you write a check, you must rely on your memory and your checkbook.

Do you use personal checks anymore?