As I was paying for my rent this month I realized that this is the only time I ever use personal cheques. I remember getting a cheques in the mail for my birthday when I was younger and coming from a small town, I was able to cash them in any store. Everyone in town knew the aunt or grandparent who issued the check, they also know that they could afford the $20 so it was easy. Moving to the city however renders personal cheques useless to any retailer that I came across. The only people who like them are landlords.
My Issue With Personal Cheques
I hate using them, I use them so infrequently that I can never remember where I put the cheque book last and end up using a different packet of cheques so my accounting is screwy. The good side to that is I know that all my cheques are for the same amount addressed to the same company so at least that solves some of my problem. I don’t really like receiving them either because than I have to go out and find an CIBC ATM to cash the thing or else I get dinged with all of the fees they like handing out. Setting up online banking with utilities is getting easier to do these days and paying back and forth between your family and friends is usually done in cash anyways.
Good alternatives that people can use to pay family or friends is of course cash, but sometimes the amounts can be large. Recently (although I’m not sure how recently) the major banks set up INTERAC e-Transfer payments. I gave these a spin and they work great! You can set the amount, and the email of the person you want it to go to and you type in a security question for them to answer. The person receiving the payment has to do their online banking with the email address that you will use. Once the person gets the email request and answers the question correctly the bank will transfer over the money. The fees were around $1.50 which isn’t bad considering the time it takes to do it, and its still less than your ATM fees. Another solution is of course Paypal, where you can send money for free in Canada by phone or email, or even by using a credit card.
The Best Solution To Personal Cheques
Sometimes we do need them, but when you start up an account with a new bank don’t go ordering 500 of them. Chances are you’re only going to need 13-14, 12 for your landlord, and 2 for your utility companies. For anything else you can use Paypal or the INTERAC e-Transfer. Personally I like using Paypal for everything because I can still track it using mint and its great for sending small amounts of money here and there. I use the internet for many of my purchases and I never came across one site that didn’t offer Paypal as a means to use to make the payment.
Business Owners Rejoice!
Technically we’re a business and we make websites for small businesses on the side. We always assumed that we would get paid via cheque. But after tinkering around with Paypal I figured out how you can send someone an invoice and they can pay with a credit card. The best part about that is they don’t need to have a Paypal account to complete the transaction. Paypal of course takes a fee (2.9% + $0.30 for every transaction) but for the convince its well worth it. Plus it gives your business the capability to handle credit card payments without a dedicated phone line. Paypal is even coming out with a device you can attach to your phone to “swipe” credit cards!
Readers, what are your thoughts? Do you use personal cheques?