Denmark says goodbye to bank check

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The country that uses online payments for even the smallest transactions, Denmark, has officially scrapped the old-fashioned check, calling it outdated, reports thelocal.dk.

Starting from January 1, Danes will only be able to cash checks at issuer banks.

Checks were commonly used in the country up until the 1980s, but are now much less popular. Danes now use the national Dankort debit card or smartphone payment systems like MobilePay.

“They had their time, but it’s over now,” Ann Lehmann Erichsen, a consumer economist at Nordea, told news agency Ritzau.

According to Erichsen, there are no reasons to regret the decision.

“There are much better, faster and safer alternatives and that’s why there is pretty much no one who uses checks today,” she said.

“It takes several days to process checks, while one can electronically transfer large amounts in just seconds today,” Erichsen added.

Some 600,000 checks were processed in Denmark this year, but these were mostly business-to-business transactions, the agency said.

By the second half of the 20th century, as check processing became automated, billions of check were issued annually. However, they have been ousted by online payment systems and are considered archaic in many countries.

However, the world’s biggest economy, the United States, still heavily relies on checks. As of 2012, an estimated 18.3 billion checks were cashed worth $25.9 trillion.