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Paper checks are dying — and fast

Americans wrote 17.3 billion checks in 2015, down from 41.9 billion in 2000, according to the Federal Reserve. For comparison, Americans made 69.5 billion debit card transactions last year. For retailers, the shift in purchase method is good news: It typically takes about 67 seconds to pay with a check at checkout, The Wall Street Journal reports, compared with 25 seconds for cash, 24 seconds for credit cards, and 20 seconds for debit cards.

Shoppers who still use checks to pay at the register cite the ability to track their finances better and a belief that physical checks are more secure than other popular methods, although there isn't much proof: "Those who track the way people pay for purchases say there is no real evidence that paying with a check is that much safer than other forms of payment, especially because the routing number of the account is printed on the check," The Journal reports.