Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Contact Us | Home RSS

Check your checks at the door

January 30, 2012
By Karin Elton , Marshall Independent

Going against the business axiom that the more types of payment a business accepts, the more useful it is to the customer, many businesses these days are no longer accepting checks.

Chelsea Rice, McDonald's store manager in Marshall, said that the store instituted the policy a "couple years ago" because of the amount of checks that were "bouncing."

Checks written on insufficient funds was also the reason cited by Heather Faulkner, director of retail for the 18 Goodwill stores in the region, who said Goodwill stores stopped accepting checks as of Jan. 1, 2012, after a four-month notice period.

"We stopped taking checks because of the increased number of bad checks," she said. "We haven't had any concerns over it."

In addition, Faulkner said the use of checks has decreased.

"Most people use debit or some other form of payment" these days," she said.

Rice also said that people are "shifting from paper to plastic" to pay for their orders and that it is "more convenient" for both parties.

"A lot of people don't use checks anymore," she said. "Maybe to pay bills and that's it."

Ali Sheikh, the restaurant manager at KFC/A&W in Marshall, said the increasing number of bounced checks was costing the business an average of $60 to $70 per week.

In addition, the procedure to try to collect the money was often more trouble than it was worth.

"It was a hassle to collect the money," he said. "You have to go through a collection agency and there are fees and all that stuff. You have to go to court to prove it and the people say, 'I lost my checkbook' (so another person is to blame for the bounced check)."

Using plastic is more convenient for the customer and the store, he said.

"With debit and credit cards, it's more convenient and you get the money right away," he said. "Most people nowadays have plastic - at least a debit card. It speeds up the (paying) process."

Sheikh added that "the bigger towns - Minneapolis, Mankato - don't accept checks."

Eric Luther, the owner of Burger King in Marshall, said that Burger Kings in the metro area don't accept checks, but his store still does.

While the number of checks his store sees has "gone down tremendously," he said, "we still get a fair amount of checks every day."

Some customers might go to Burger King specifically because they can still write checks.

"We try to eliminate the 'no factor,'" he said, adding that accepting checks still "works fine. It's not an expense."

Still, in the next year, Luther said he will reassess the store's check-accepting policy to see if it is still viable.



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web