Cash and checks a thing of the past?

“Why do you still balance your checkbook?” my father was asked by my sister recently as he sat down to go through his weekly grocery payments, utilities and the financial damage of taking his wife and three lovely daughters out for dinner the night before — thanks Dad.

There was no blame suggested or placed with the question. If you balance your checkbook, more power to you. In my experience with balancing checkbooks, I tend to miss a transaction here or there and my totals do not add up in the end, throwing me completely off my financial goals.

Maybe that is just me, but I have a feeling more of you have fallen victim to the checkbook-balancing act, as well.

Hence, why I rely heavily on my smartphone with mobile banking application(s). It is quite literally banking in the palm of my hands … or purse, or wherever I have set my phone down and cannot remember its location. Anyway, wherever my phone is, I have constant access to every single one of my transactions — easily and efficiently.

Mobile banking has become more than looking up balances and determining if my payroll check settled in my account.

With direct deposit, automatic payments, transferring funds, person-to-person payments and more, mobile banking applications make banking convenient — almost to the point where there is no longer a need to visit financial institutions to conduct regular business transactions.

Even before the coronavirus, consumers were using online and mobile banking applications, and, according to statistics from the American Bankers Association (ABA), those applications already were the most popular way to bank.

Not only has mobile banking advanced, but also previously conducted face-to-face payment transactions have taken a huge leap — going from cash payments, credit and debit card swipes with pin numbers and signatures to now having “tap and go” functionalities.

Contactless, tap and go allows consumers to keep their credit and debit cards all in one place — once again, being completely stored on smartphone applications including Apple Pay and Google Wallet. The majority of retailers now offer this contactless way of payment — conducted by simply placing your phone to the kiosk at checkout, clearing the transaction then you are on your way out the door without having to count exact cash or digging for your debit/credit card.

Eventually, consumers only will have to worry about having their smartphone(s) in tote to conduct most transactions.

Having that sort of capability also takes the stress out of losing cash or personal credit/debit cards while running errands or during travel, as well as actively reducing fraudulent activity.

You can keep cards and cash safely and securely stored at home while you conduct business — safely and worry free.

Are cash and checks a thing of the past? You tell me.