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WASHINGTON – Technology-based payment options may have become more accessible to consumers, but the majority of Americans still prefer paying their bills by picking up a pen and opening their checkbooks. A new national study from the Check Payment Systems Association shows more than two-thirds of Americans still pay their monthly bills this way. According to the findings of the telephone survey which was conducted from Sept. 26-29 among 1,000 nationally representative adults ages 18 and older, only 11% of consumers prefer online banking, 8% choose automatic debit from their bank, and only 2% prefer paying over the phone using a credit card. Why do consumers still prefer using their `old-fashioned’ checkbook? Security and safety measures, record keeping purposes, and more control of spending habits were cited by respondents as the main reasons they prefer paying their monthly bills by check. Even younger consumers who have almost grown up with technology feel more comfortable writing checks for their purchases than using a credit or debit card online. Survey results showed 64% of 18-24 year olds, 58% of 25-34 year olds, 73% of 35-44 year olds, 69% of 45-54 year olds, 75% of 55-64 year olds, and 76% of those 65 and older indicate they’re more at ease using checks for purchases than they are using online payment methods. CPSA said the survey findings demonstrate that claims that check use is on the decline “are often exaggerated and the resilience of the check underestimated. The check remains the most popular form of payment next to cash and is 65 times more likely to be used than all other electronic payments combined. As this survey reflects, consumers want to be able to choose the payment option that works best for them, whether it is a check or electronic payment.” The Association further asserted in a prepared release that, “Experts have been predicting the demise of the check for more than 30 years, and yet it remains the dominant non-cash payment choice for American consumers. While we anticipate that there will be growth in electronic payments, this alone does not mean the death of the check. Americans write checks, and they will continue to do so because they fill a vital consumer need and are safe, convenient, and reliable.”

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