Target says it will soon stop accepting personal checks from customers. Here’s why.

July 8, 2024
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Target tells its customers to expect more while paying less — but soon, its shoppers won’t be able to purchase anything at all with a once-popular form of payment. 

The retail giant said in a statement that it will stop accepting personal checks as payment starting July 15. The change, which was earlier reported by Minneapolis TV station KARE, will take place after Target’s Red Circle week, a sales event that ends on July 13. 

The change comes amid waning use of personal checks, a form of payment that 9 in 10 consumers used at least once a year as recently as 2009, according to research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. But today, only about half of Americans write checks at least once a year, with many shifting to digital payments such as Venmo, Zelle or PayPal, GoBankingRates found.

Target pointed to the shift in consumer preferences as its reason to stop accepting personal checks as payment.

“Due to extremely low volumes, we’ll no longer accept personal checks starting July 15,” a Target spokesperson said in an email. “We have taken several measures to notify guests in advance to aid an easy and efficient checkout experience.”

Target will continue to accept cash; digital wallets; buy now, pay later services; and credit and debit cards as well as SNAP/EBT cards, it said. 

A few other retailers don’t accept personal checks, including Aldi’s and Whole Foods, with the latter saying it doesn’t allow checks in order to speed up the checkout process.

Even though fewer Americans are writing checks today, they remain popular with older consumers, GoBankingRates found in its survey. About 1 in 5 people over 66 write several checks each month, while about half of people under 55 don’t write a single check the entire year.

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