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’s SMB Technology Adoption Index survey.

Sell Your Business

Drive Traffic to Your Website

Discover the Zoho Ecosystem

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, 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 Deals

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. 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, and is produced in conjunction with Sage Payments Solution.

Writing a Check Photo via Shutterstock 1 Comment ▼

Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and the Head of Content Partnerships. A journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional and online media, he is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press, covering his hometown.

One Reaction
  1. Small businesses should look to the digitalization of checks using