Will The Check Ever Die?

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 25 2012 @ 6:18pm

Felix Salmon hopes so:

In America, the question remains: What financial technology will replace the check? Don’t look to the banks for innovation—they have little incentive to replace the credit and debit cards that use their check-clearing infrastructure and generate billions of dollars in interchange fees. Services do exist that work around the banks, but they generally require both the payer and the payee to set up an account with them first, and most normal people have no desire to do that.

Later he adds:

All in all, I’m quite sure that over the 15 years I’ve been in the States, I’ve somehow failed to deposit at least a few checks along the way, and that most of the time it’s been entirely my own fault. It’s an incredibly anachronistic system, though, and I don’t really see why there’s such an onus on me to open my mail and recognize the check and successfully deposit the check. All of those things are easy enough that we get them right 99% of the time, but even at 99% accuracy we’re still talking about 3% of checks going undeposited. And no one would dream, today, of regularly using a payments system with a 3% failure rate.