If you're one of the many people planning to start using more paper checks to avoid incurring a monthly debit-card fee, think again. While many merchants continue to accept paper checks, some are moving in the opposite direction.
National grocery store chain Whole Foods (WFM) has stopped accepting paper checks at some of its 300 locations, including five locations in North Carolina this week, reported the News Observer.
The high-end grocer said banning paper checks limits the amount of personal information shoppers have to hand over -- like driver's license and phone numbers -- and also speeds up transaction time at the register, the North Carolina newspaper reported.
Fresh & Easy, a supermarket chain in California, Nevada and Arizona, also does not accept paper checks -- payment is cash or plastic only.
Even though only 5% of of consumers preferred using paper checks last year, down from 8% in 2008, according to study by BAI Research and Hitachi Consulting, there isn't necessarily a trend.
J. Craig Sherman, a vice president at the National Retail Federation, told the newspaper that there's no overall trend toward moving away from paper checks. Many merchants prefer cash or checks because they don't pay a swipe fee, so they get 100 cents on the dollar.
National retailer Target (TGT) said it accepts paper checks at all its national locations. A representative from Walmart also said it accepts paper checks at all its locations. Safeway, a national grocery chain, said it accepts paper checks at all its locations.
Some Whole Foods Stores Stop Accepting Paper Checks