Local grocery stores that refuse to take checks - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Local grocery stores that refuse to take checks

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The days of cashiers asking you "Cash or check?" are long gone. But could checks disappear from grocery stores altogether?

To most consumers, writing a personal check is outdated, which is why Whole Foods is testing a "no checks accepted" policy at two stores in Los Angeles and one in Arizona.

A statement from the company says the move is in response to increasing rates of check fraud. The grocery chain Fresh & Easy says it doesn't accept checks at any of its locations to keep things simple.

"People are very pleased with the convenience and the speed of checkout at our stores," Spokesman Brendan Wonnacott said.

But Michael Shames of UCAN says some people will be inconvenienced.

"Seniors, minorities and people who have been hard-hit by the economic downturn, who right now have lost their bank accounts, credit cards and are only able to transact business through checks or cash," Shames said.

Caregiver Marci Moody agrees. She says many of her patients don't have a lot of options.


"A lot of them don't have it, so they're doing it on their checks. They may get EBT cards for certain things but they don't really utilize that," she said.

Supermarket chains will keep an eye on the experiment. But Shames says either way, checks themselves will quickly become dinosaurs in the banking world.

"This is the beginning of the death of the personal check, so for consumers who still rely on personal checks, they need to know time is limited," Shames said.

Whole Foods didn't elaborate on how long they will have their test sites not accept checks. If it works, there's no word yet on if and when it will come to local stores.

Vons, Albertsons and Ralph's continue to accept personal checks.    

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