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We always like it, here at the AVPS blog, when pieces of “separate” financial news combine to make a single, bigger story, or to provide a trendline.

Postcard

That’s happened again this summer, when a story about checks — and then another — caught our eye. The first was an article written in anticipation of an upcoming report from the Federal Reserve, which charts consumer payment habits. While the 2013 report has yet to be released, the analysis noted that their previous report, in 2010, there was a sharp decline in the use of paper checks, going from 61 percent of all users, to 26 percent in the last report. How much lower will the number be now, in an age of contactless charges, mobile payments, etc.?

It should be noted though that the first article spotlighted paper checks, specifically, meaning that customers still like to use their checking accounts — whether through debit cards, E-checks, etc.

On the other hand, the British newspaper “The Journal” ran a recent article declaring “Card payments will overtake cash in the next decade.” Given what we’re already reported here about debit and charge cards, mobile commerce and more, that seems entirely likely. But the same article cautions that “the staying power of supposedly obsolete forms of payment is illustrated by the use of the cheque, with reports of its demise apparently proving exaggerated.”

Or perhaps the idea of “check” (reverting to the American spelling now) will simply change, much in the way that the idea of “cash” (or even “card”) is. The article further notes the increase in card use will be “driven primarily by the increasing use of e-commerce as well as contactless cards at shop counters, it is predicted.”

Additionally, “one-off payments from accounts, driven by the use of mobile and internet banking, are expected to grow,” the article continues, while other people accessed their bank accounts through what was described as a “remote channel,” with about a third of those using a mobile device to do so.

So checks are changing, and so is cash. As we head into fall, be sure you’re ready for those changes. Here at AVPS we keep adding new services, and new web pages and blog posts to tell you about them.

But you can always contact your AVPS rep as well, to make sure you’re ready, and that the payment methods you accept aren’t lagging… one or two Fed reports behind the rest of your competitors!