I have received a number of payments through cheque from other people, although I am uncertain about the exact benefits accrued from using a cheque to transfer money from one bank account to another. There seem to be many drawbacks, and no benefits that I can think of when compared to direct interbank online transfers.

The answers in this question seem to suggest that cheque cashing presents many problems if the money is to be withdrawn immediately on the same day or on weekends, more so if the transfer is between banks, due to the difficulty in verifying that a cheque drawer has sufficient money in their account.

For cases where online transfers are available, however, the transfer is usually performed immediately (or nearly so) and the money often becomes available within a few minutes to hours of the actual transfer. It can also be performed when banks are closed, after which the recipient of the money can directly withdraw the money from a 24-hour ATM.

Are there any reasons in today's world, where internet banking is widely available, to write cheques instead of performing direct bank transfers?

  • 2
    Even when we have the choice, some of us prefer to use paper in many circumstances... for the same reasons we may use cash rather than credit cards. We grew up with it, we're comfortable wit it, it gives us a clear physical record of the transaction... Realistically, there is no perfect answer, and I like being able to decide on a case by case basis.
    – keshlam
    Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 0:32

2 Answers 2


France is one country where cheques are common. More an more people are using credit cards for typical store payments and wire transfers are slowly gaining traction.

There are several cases where cheques come handy:

  • the delivery man with your furniture arrives and need to be paid.
  • you agree on a deal around the table with someone who wants 30% of the payment in advance so that he can secure the deal on his side.
  • you rent a small house for a week in the countryside and the landlord wants to secure the rent

Sure, all these cases could ultimately be resolved with a wire transfer. Sometimes it is just simpler/faster to mail a piece of paper. This said, I believe than in 1à years from now even France will go cheque-less.


In order for you to send me check for $10 you would have to know my banking details. You would have to know the bank number and the account number. Giving you this information does put my funds at risk.

While you would know this for a small circle of friends you wouldn't know this for everybody. My parents have 19 grand kids. They would have to know the banking account information for all 19. While my parents can be trusted with this information their grand children would have to make sure that they had the updated information. Instead they just mail them a check or give them a check on their birthday or other special occasion.

Most of the time that money needs to be transferred it is not important that it immediately be converted to cash. The question you referenced is about how the Unbanked function:

The unbanked are adults who do not have their own bank accounts. Along with the underbanked, they may rely on alternative financial services for their financial needs, where these are available.

These people need check cashing places to get money. They don't have a bank account. There is no place for you to electronically send money. Every source of income for them has to start as cash, or be converted to cash. All spending they do is by cash. If they need to pay by check they convert cash to a money order for a fee.

  • I have encountered CYA weasel words around some electronic transfers, basically holding the bank harmless for errors and letting them "adjust" them. This means a sequence of events under the control of a third party actor can lead to money you expect to have not being in your account in a process that is not as clear cut as a bounced check. If it's malevolent and not just half-assed, well, you put yourself at this risk by handing over your number.
    – user662852
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 13:24
  • 2
    On what planet is "In order for you to send me check for $10 you would have to know my banking details" true? Surely you would only have to know my banking details if you couldn't send a check and wanted to transfer the money electronically?
    – Peter K.
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 23:11
  • news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7174760.stm is an example of how having someone knowing your bank account details can be a security exploit (A TV celebrity got a direct debit set up to his account after publishing his account pay-in details)
    – March Ho
    Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 6:36

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