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As Alternative Currencies Have Yet to Catch on, Many Consumers Still Turn to Checks as a Popular Form of Payment for Retail Purchases
|By Business Wire
|April 30, 2014 04:52 PM EDT
Alternative currencies, such as Bitcoin, are making headlines, and many
retailers are paying increasing attention to their potential. However,
although these innovative currencies may be in the news, awareness among
U.S. consumers is still quite low. In fact, in a recent survey, an
overwhelming majority – 76% – said they were not at all familiar with
Since alternative currencies aren’t likely to become commonplace in the
near term, it’s no surprise that checks remain a highly-used method of
payment. Results from a 2010 Federal Reserve Payments Study reveal that
24.4 billion checks are written in the U.S. annually – with 27.8 billion
checks written in 2009 valuing $32.4 trillion and an average of $1,165
Allison, the leading innovator and provider of check, currency and
coin handling solutions as well as ATMs, shares how retailers can
continually be prepared to efficiently handle check payments.
Checks are Still a Popular Form of Payment
According to the aforementioned survey, 79% of consumers would never
consider using Bitcoin, and younger consumers are no more likely to be
aware of Bitcoin than the older respondents. Only 11% of the consumers
over 65 years old said they would be willing to use an alternative
There are a number of reasons that many consumers may still prefer
traditional payment forms, like checks, including:
Enhanced security to thwart fraud. Should a shopper’s wallet or
purse become lost or stolen, thieves can often carry out small credit
or debit card purchases without a signature. Yet, banks and merchants
require a signature on a check. Thus, fraud is much more difficult
with a check versus other payment methods.
Ease of use. One in five U.S. households, or 20%, do not have
Internet access.⁴ Unable to have access to funds
electronically, many customers find it easier to just write a check.
Retailers must still be able to cater to patrons that don’t have
Internet access or may not be tech-savvy.
Broad acceptance, enhanced security to protect sensitive information,
and ease-of-use are just a few reasons why retailers are experiencing
sustained use of check payments. As such, retailers across the country
must continue to be prepared to handle and process checks efficiently.
Handling Checks with the Proper Processing Technology
Consumers benefit from the security and flexibility afforded by the use
of checks. To ensure quick and accurate processing of these forms of
payment, retailers should leverage the latest in check
processing technology, which is capable of capturing 400 items per
By investing in an updated check scanning machine that can also process
cash, retailers are able to spend less time processing transactions and
spend more time on the floor with shoppers, enhancing their experience
and encouraging them to purchase more products. The ability to process
multiple forms of payment on the same equipment can also cut costs and
streamline daily operations.
For more information on the benefits of check scanning and processing
equipment, visit cumminsallison.com/checks.
1, 3 OMNITEL poll by GfK
North America, January 2014
² Federal Reserve System, http://www.frbservices.org/files/communications/pdf/research/2010_payments_study.pdf
⁴ Face the Facts, http://www.facethefactsusa.org/facts/20percent-of-American-Households-Still-Offline
About Cummins Allison
Cummins Allison is a global leader in developing solutions that quickly
and efficiently count, sort and authenticate currency, checks and coin.
We also offer a complete line of full-function automated teller machines
(ATMs). Our leadership in technology and product innovation spans more
than 125 years. Cummins Allison serves the majority of financial
institutions worldwide, as well as leading organizations in retail,
gaming, law enforcement and government. Ninety-seven percent of our
customers would recommend our products and services. The company holds
more than 350 patents and invests double the industry average in R&D.
Our world-class sales and service network includes hundreds of local
representatives in more than 50 offices in North America, wholly-owned
subsidiaries in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Ireland and
Australia and is represented in more than 70 countries around the world.
For more information, visit cumminsallison.com.
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