Does Your Small Business Still Rely on Checks? You’re Not Alone



Why Do So Many Small Businesses Still Use Checks?

Skeptical or slow to adapt, small businesses across the U.S. are still clinging to an old-school means of exchanging money … checks.

Nearly all small businesses — an astounding 97 percent — still rely on paper checks for handling business-to-business transactions. That’s according to PYMNTS.com’s SMB Technology Adoption Index survey.

And that 97 percent is just a 1 percent improvement upon the same figure at the beginning of this year.

It’s not just B2B payments, either. According to PYMTS.com, small businesses are 98 times more likely to accept a check from a face-to-face customer than they are to accept a mobile wallet payment, like Android Pay or Apple Pay.

Why Do So Many Small Businesses Still Use Checks?

It could speak to a fear of alienating older or less tech-adaptive customers.

Mobile wallet payments seem like they may be the last thing on most small business owners’ minds. In fact, adopting new technologies — especially newer forms of payment — doesn’t appear to be on the priority list.

Small business owners told survey takers that, on a scale of 1 to 10, they’d rate themselves 6s at adopting new payment technologies and only 13 percent say they’re willing to do it.

PYMNTS.com found in this survey that 80 percent of small businesses can not accept “contactless” mobile payments.

Customer Demands Affect Payment Options

If there is a lesson to be learned here, it’s to listen to your customers.

Despite these figures suggesting almost all small businesses still “rely” on paper checks to complete transactions, it’s the customers who demand and ultimately get anyone to change.



The survey found that 31 percent of the small businesses that did adapt to new payment technologies in face-to-face transactions did so because their customers demanded it.

The SMB Technology Adoption Index is recorded quarterly by PYMNTS.com, and is produced in conjunction with Sage Payments Solution.

Writing a Check Photo via Shutterstock 1 Comment ▼


Joshua Sophy


Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Assistant Editor for Small Business Trends and the Head of Content Partnerships. A journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional and online media, Joshua got his start in the rough and tumble newspaper business of Pennsylvania's coal region. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a beat reporter covering daily news. He eventually founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press, covering his hometown. Joshua supervises the day-to-day operations of Small Business Trends' busy editorial department including the editorial calendar and outgoing assignments.

One Reaction

  1. Small businesses should look to the digitalization of checks using checkbook.io.

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