The decline of checks and how it affects your church…

Do you use checks?

Do you even know where your checkbook is? (I don’t)

Studies suggest that check writing is in rapid decline as people have begun to use them only for large purchases. Mark Brooks shares these stats:

  • Paper check usage declined from 61% of all payments in 2000 to just 26% by 2010.
  • In 2011, the number of checks processed by the Federal Reserve fell at its steepest rate yet, down 17, a third of the volume processed 20 years ago.
  • The average check size has approximately doubled, rising from an average of $879 in 2001 to $1,460 in 2011, as many smaller-value payments are transacted with debit cards or have been automated.
  • Reserve Banks estimate that check volumes will have declined another 14 percent in 2012, to about 5.5 billion items.

So how does this affect your church? If nothing else it needs to serve as a wake up call to those churches not engaged in electronic giving.

How does YOUR church handle electronic giving?


  • pietrosquared April 22, 2013 Reply

    I pay about 1 or 2 bills a year with a check. Hate them now. For a while the only check I wrote was for my tithe, but now that’s online. yay.

  • Diane Cumbie April 22, 2013 Reply

    hard copy will be peoples ease and escape expense to straighten out what is about to happen. We should honor that avenue not reject it. Go Mail and Checks.

    • Robert April 22, 2013 Reply

      No idea what Diane’s comment even means. My contributions to the church are made via electronic bill pay. I do know my credit union then sends a check to the church since our church is not set up to receive electronic payments.

  • Mark Brooks April 23, 2013 Reply

    Thanks guys for commenting on my post you had some great observations. If I might comment on some of the things you talked about.

    First, fees, while different from company to company are lower than 3%. This depends on which card, bank, etc. Debit is less than 2% and ACH, is less than 1%.

    Kiosks are back! The reason why is that now churches are moving to iPad kiosks that do more than simply giving they also do event registration allowing churches to go green both in terms of money and less paper.

    Next up for the church…mobile wallets!

    Again, thanks.

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