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Grandpa Talks About Antiquated Payment Method Called 'Checks'


"A momentous occasion," proclaimed Grandpa Moser. "Getting your first bank account is a big deal." He was speaking to his 17-year-old granddaughter Sarah who had recent opened her first checking account.

"Thanks grandpa," she replied.

"Did I ever tell you about how bank accounts worked back in my day?" It was a question that Sarah and her brother Ethan really didn't care to hear. Grandpa Moser had a lot of good stories; he also had a lot of boring stories that went on and on and on. A Grandpa Moser story was a roll of the dice, but both children were silent to let the old timer talk. "We had many of the payment methods you kids have today but banking back then wasn't as sophisticated. Some people had gone digital with their accounts while others lagged behind. You kids ever heard of a thing called a check?" Both kids looked at each other with puzzled faces. A history lesson on banking, thought Sarah. Here we go.

"No," Ethan said. They could tell the older man was about to go into full blown story mode. Ethan and Sarah both couldn't think of a way to stop it. Granddad Moser launched into his narrative.

"Back in my day we had these things called checks that were pieces of paper. On the paper would be a person's name and bank account information. They would use a pen to fill the check out; you would list a name and amount that you wanted to pay." Oh great, Sarah thought, now he is making things up. Ethan seemed interested by this.

"Grandpa, why did they do that?" he asked. "Why would they have all that on paper?"

"Good question. Way before computers and mobile phones they came out with these checks. It worked well for a time but people would steal the checks. They would counterfeit new ones with the information or try and negotiate the check at a bank. Got to be a real mess back in the 20's."

"So what happened?"

"People learned about other payment methods. They got smarter about how they used these checks, which was to decrease how many they wrote and who they wrote them to. Those who received the checks also switched to accepting other types of transactions. Eventually, so few people used them that bank by bank, they were switched off." Sarah had remained silent.

"I don't believe you grandpa," she countered. Grandpa Moser at first appeared hurt. Then a smile crept across his face and he left the room. He came back with a box safe and used a small key to open it. Rummaging around for a second, he pulled out small papers which we bound into a book. He handed it to Sarah, who took a look at the outside before flipping through the pages; these things were checks.

"I'm sorry grandpa, it just seemed too unrealistic. A lot must have happened since the 2020's, huh?"

"You have no idea," he said. "So, Sarah, you have a new bank account. Want to connect on Memeorator? I've heard you've been posting a lot of dance videos lately. Now that you've got the account, I can send you money every now and then to support the video creation."


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