ST. PAUL, Minn., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Are you among the millions of Americans who are frustrated when they take out their wallet or purse to pay in a store or restaurant and are confronted by a sign saying, "Sorry, We Do Not Accept Checks"? In fact, three-quarters (75%) of American consumers insist they should have the freedom to pay at stores or restaurants with whatever method they choose – check, credit/debit card or cash, according to a new study conducted by Ipsos for the "Stand Up For Your Right to Write Checks" campaign (www.righttowritechecks.com).
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And more than a third (38%) of consumers would consider walking out of, or not returning to, a store or restaurant if that business refused to accept checks as a method of payment even though their check is valid, written from a legitimate financial institution and they have proper identification. Those are among the results of a survey presented by "Stand Up For Your Right To Write Checks," a consumer advocacy program sponsored by Deluxe Corporation (NYSE: DLX) that seeks to preserve the freedom of consumers to pay how they wish without being pressured to use credit or debit cards rather than checks or cash.
Among the other "Stand Up For Your Right" survey results:
- 60% of consumers said they'd be more likely to pay by check (rather than credit or debit card) if they knew that paying with a check would keep more money in their own local economy. Check writing, unlike credit card charges, doesn't involve card interchange ("swipe") fees that are sent out-of-state and take millions of dollars out of the local economy.
- 66% of consumers, given the choice, would prefer to shop at a store that accepts both checks and credit/debit cards as payment. Nearly as many (60%) said they'd prefer dining at a restaurant that accepts all methods of payment rather than one which refused to accept checks as payment.
- Nearly half (47%) of consumers admit they'd respond negatively if they wrote out a check at a store or restaurant and were told, "We don't accept checks as company policy."
- One-fifth of U.S. consumers feel that a sign in a store saying, "We Do Not Accept Checks," is an example of bad customer service.
"At a time when national credit card debt exceeds $850 billion, the results of our 'Stand Up For Your Right' survey suggests a growing movement of consumers want merchants to give them the freedom to pay by card, cash or check," says Susan Eick, vice president for Deluxe Corporation and spokesperson for the "Right To Write Checks" campaign. "Whether it's because check-writing encourages personal financial responsibility or because writing checks keeps more money in the local economy compared to credit cards, consumers are pushing back against the idea that limits should be placed on what payment method they can use in stores and restaurants."
Eick notes that carrying a checkbook as a back-up method of payment when a consumer shops has become urgent: New financial regulations now prohibit banks from charging fees for debit card overdrafts without getting a customer's permission in advance. The result: Thousands of debit card transactions may be denied at the cash register or restaurant table if consumers have insufficient funds to cover the overcharge. Personal checks, however, are exempt from the new regulations, giving consumers an alternative method of payment.
Inspired by the Ipsos survey, the "Stand Up For Your Right to Write Checks" campaign features:
- A "Your Right To Write Checks" online petition at www.righttowritechecks.com, where consumers can express their desire to preserve the freedom to pay as they wish.
- A "We Support Your Right To Write Checks" outreach program to more than 25,000 retailers, restaurants and bankers, encouraging merchants to express their appreciation for customers by preserving the freedom to pay as they wish – by check, card or cash.
To learn more about the "Stand Up For Your Right to Write Checks" campaign, visit www.righttowritechecks.com or the campaign's Facebook page.
About the Ipsos Survey:
Conducted June 17-21, 2010, the Ipsos survey polled a nationally representative sample of 1,005 randomly-selected adults aged 18 and over, interviewed by telephone. Results are considered accurate within +/- 3.1 percentage points.
About Deluxe Corporation
Deluxe Corporation is a growth engine for small businesses and financial institutions. Through its industry-leading businesses and brands, the Company helps small businesses and financial institutions attract and retain customers. The Company employs a multi-channel strategy to provide a suite of lifecycle driven solutions to its customers. In addition to its personalized printed products, the Company offers a growing suite of business services, including logo design, payroll, web design and hosting, business networking and other web-based services to help small business grow. In the financial services industry, Deluxe sells check programs and fraud prevention, customer loyalty and retention programs to help banks build lasting relationships and grow core deposits. The Company also sells personalized checks, accessories, and other services directly to consumers. For more information about Deluxe, visit http://www.deluxe.com.
SOURCE Deluxe Corporation