Letters From Leton: Why I Hate Checks – Reason #57

Well, here I go again… my continuing rant about checks.

Beyond the theft risk (here, world, is all the information you need to rob me) and fraud risk (lets go to Wal-Mart and buy a color printer to create fake checks), the greatest negative impact of checks is on poor people.

Don’t believe me?

Last Wednesday, we had a former customer come in right before closing.

She had a relatively small check drawn on a reputable lawyer’s account made payable to her husband.

The issue: The couple’s current bank (“Brand X”) would not cash the check due to her husband being out of town and unavailable to endorse the back of the check.

With Thursday being Thanksgiving, I suspect that the funds were likely needed for travel, maybe food, perhaps shopping.

Rachel and I took a try at helping, but unfortunately, Brand X’s teller had already put codes and information on the back of the check that would not allow our system to process it.

All of this could have been avoided if the law firm had used electronic payments (like Zelle). Then the funds would have automatically been credited to the couple’s account.

Instead, the archaic legal rules that come with an outdated form of payment prevented a family in need from accessing their own funds during Thanksgiving.  

Well, another rant about an antiquated system that we keep using – for what legitimate reasons I have no idea.

Stay safe and have a great week.

– Leton

“Letters From Leton” is a blog series comprised of the weekly updates that Leton Harding – President, Chairman, and CEO of Powell Valley National Bank, shares with the Bank’s team members. These newsletters are full of uplifting anecdotes and intriguing insights that are applicable beyond the Bank, so we want to share them with you.