Thursday, April 8, 2010

check, please

I was never a big fan of checks. They seemed so random and insecure. I often lost track of my checkbook in my apartment, which was annoying enough, but the thought of losing a checkbook out in the real world is worse. Losing a checkbook is worse than losing a credit card, because it's much harder to cancel the lost checks to make sure that someone doesn't run around using it to pay for things, and it's worse than losing cash, because there is no fixed value of the money you might lose.

Once I moved to Switzerland, I rarely used checks, since everything there is done with online transfers. I had a few checks left for my American account, and used them for random American bills that wouldn't take online bill pay. When I moved back to the States, I used my last two checks to pay my first month's rent and security deposit on my apartment. I didn't bother ordering new ones, because I pay all of my bills online, and I set up a recurring transfer and payment for my rent.

Well, now I'm moving, and the new landlord wanted my first month's rent and security deposit right away. No credit card, no online transfers, no PayPal. And I don't own a checkbook. I had to go to the bank and get a certified check cut there. I actually had to look up the bank online to find out where it was, because I never go to the bank. It all felt so primitive.

Seriously, America? Why are you still using checks??? Get over the check thing, already, and move into the 21st century.

(For the record, when anyone I know needs to pay me money, I actually tell them that I don't accept checks, because who has the time to go to the bank to deposit them? Cash, wire, or PayPal only, please.)

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