Get Checks Out of the Checkout Line November 2, 2006Posted by federalist in Uncategorized.
Why, in this day and age, are there still people writing checks in stores? For groceries? This should be absolutely forbidden.
If Dante were writing Inferno today I am certain that he would reserve a special place in Hell for people who:
- Drive in the left lanes when they aren’t passing.
- Use cell phones loudly in public.
- Hold up checkout lines writing checks.
We are all familiar with these first two complaints; the world will never lack for those who are inconsiderate and/or oblivious. But the last of these three — the check-writers — compound their carelessness with stupidity. For with every checking account is associated a check (“Debit”) card. And when you use that check card instead of writing a check, the store actually pays you (typically a 1% rebate from your bank) for the convenience you are sharing with its bookkeepers and other customers.
There is no reason for people to carry a checkbook into a store, and — after their cart has been rung up — sit there filling out a date, an amount, spelling out the amount, and as if the Pay To and Date weren’t enough, writing in a little memo to remember that “Acme” is in fact a grocery store, and they were in fact purchasing groceries. And then after laboriously signing their full name, and adding a bunch of personally identifying information required by the store to process checks, flipping over to their checkbook register and copying all of that information over again. All this while three people in the adjacent line with more merchandise have completed their transaction by swiping a card, punching in a number, and moving along — secure in the knowledge that their transaction is fully accounted for and available online (often within just hours), and that should they lose their card it is a lot easier to replace than the entire account that would have to be cancelled if their checkbook were lost.