Fewer Consumers Write Personal Checks, Fewer Retailers Accept Them

Reader broncobiker sent us the photo at left, wondering whether check acceptance policies might be getting a little out of hand. But checks have so much potential for fraud, and so few shoppers use them, that many merchants have just stopped accepting them entirely.

Diesel, True Religion, Ed Hardy and Lululemon Athletica are among a growing list of stores that don’t accept personal checks.

Gap Inc. has tested the idea. Austin-based Whole Foods Market is trying it out at a few stores in California and Arizona. The organic grocer hasn’t come to any conclusions yet, a spokeswoman said.

Check fraud is a costly problem for the retail industry, and stores just don’t see many shoppers pulling out a checkbook anymore.

Predictably, the use of checks increases with age. Only 0.3 percent of shoppers between ages 18-24 predict that they will write any checks to retailers this holiday season, while 9.8 percent of senior citizens (people over 65) plan to.

Do you still use checks when shopping? Do you still write personal checks at all?

Personal checks becoming currency of holidays past [Dallas Morning News] (Thanks, Geoff!)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.