Paper Checks Expected to Become Obsolete Within Five Years

Joel Eisenberg

According to one estimate, check usage is dropping by 1.8 billion a year with an expected user discontinuance by 2026.
Paper CheckShutterstock

Author’s Note

This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. Linked information within this article is attributed to the following outlets:,,, and


Wikipedia features a comprehensive overview of the history of paper check usage as a means of monetary transaction: A cheque, or check, is a document that orders a bank (or credit union) to pay a specific amount of money from a person's account to the person in whose name the cheque has been issued. The person writing the cheque, known as the drawer, has a transaction banking account (often called a current, cheque, chequing, checking, or share draft account) where the money is held. The drawer writes various details including the monetary amount, date, and a payee on the cheque, and signs it, ordering their bank, known as the drawee, to pay the amount of money stated to the payee.

In today‘s market, paper check usage has been declining year-to-year in large part due to the advent of electronic systems serving the same purpose.

As Wikipedia further states: Although forms of cheques have been in use since ancient times and at least since the 9th century, they became a highly popular non-cash method for making payments during the 20th century and usage of cheques peaked. By the second half of the 20th century, as cheque processing became automated, billions of cheques were issued annually; these volumes peaked in or around the early 1990s. Since then cheque usage has fallen, being partly replaced by electronic payment systems. In an increasing number of countries cheques have either become a marginal payment system or have been completely phased out.

Today, what is for some a concerning issue, checks have been estimated in some financial circles to become obsolete within this decade. As a targeted Google search verifies, many older members of the U.S. population are apprehensive about possible adaptation.

Let us explore further.

Paper Checks, 2022

According to titled , which references a piece, “Cancelled: 5 Reasons Why Paper Checks Are Disappearing: Here’s Why Paper Checks Will Likely Be Extinct By 2026,” check extinction will likely occur sooner than by the end of the decade.

As excerpted from the article: The paper check has pretty much disappeared from the grocery checkout line, and if the trend continues, this once all-important mode of payment may become extinct. The number of checks being written is dropping by 1.8 billion a year, and at that rate, checks would go away entirely by 2026, according to Business Insider... The demise of the check and other 20th century inventions upon which businesses once depended—such as the fax machine—raises the issue of what business look like in five years. And further, will businesses that cater to the 50-plus crowd differ from a business whose target market is in their 20s.

The Business Insider estimate has been among the most widely quoted online in terms of expected check discontinuance.


Should specific estimates change, or checks announced as being canceled by specific banks, I will post updates here, on NewsBreak.

Thank you for reading.

Comments / 296

Published by

I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

Northridge, CA

More from Joel Eisenberg

Comments / 0