Check cashing stores are virtually everywhere, and most people are aware that these stores are a convenient alternative to banks. This is especially true when it comes to cashing checks of all amounts and types. However, check cashing establishments offer much more than basic check cashing, and many people frequent these stores because they can complete a host of financial transactions quickly and easily. Not only can customers gain access to short-term loans, but they also can take advantage of several other services, which we’ll discuss here.
Sending money to friends, loved ones, and business associates can sometimes be cumbersome and inconvenient, especially if you are relying on a bank. Sending wire transfers at a bank is often an expensive process, and customers are at the mercy of banking hours. In addition, most banks charge a flat rate no matter how much or how little money you are sending, which can quickly add up for customers who wire smaller sums frequently.
Check cashing stores, on the other hand, are typically open much later than banks and charge reasonable fees that are based on the amount you wish to send. In addition, if you are receiving money, you can pick it up at a local check cashing store.
Wiring money at a check cashing store is fairly straightforward. You simply fill out a form with your information and the recipient's information. You note how much you would like to send, then the cashier collects your payment and provides you with a code. You then communicate this code to the recipient and they can pick up the money within minutes at thousands of locations throughout the world.
Another convenient service offered by check cashing stores is bill payment. Since many customers go to check cashing stores for the majority of their financial transactions, it makes sense to take care of bills there as well. The only things needed to pay a bill at a check cashing store are the cash payment and the account number. Customers can even pay bills for other people if they have the account number handy.
Many check cashing establishments have a direct connection to thousands of billers, which allows them to transmit payments almost instantly. Customers can utilize bill payment services to swiftly take care of bills, thereby avoiding late payment fees and disconnection notices. Paying bills at a check cashing store is different from using a traditional bank’s online bill pay system, since banks usually just mail a check out on the date you specify. When payments are mailed, delays can occur and can result in the payment being received late. In contrast, paying bills at a check cashing store enables the money to be sent to the biller immediately.
One reason some believe that bank accounts are necessary is because they offer the ability to write checks. While check cashing stores do not offer banking products like checking accounts, they do offer a service that is similar to check writing, but much more convenient.
Money orders are essentially the same as a certified check or a cashier’s check you would get from a bank, but with one major distinction—money order fees are typically much less than those charged by banks. Money orders are guaranteed funds because the purchaser must pay cash upfront to receive the money order. Customers also have peace of mind because their money is secure; money orders eliminate the need to carry around cash for purchases. Essentially, a money order is a prepaid check that can be used for everything from paying a bill to saving money securely.
Most check cashing stores will print money orders in denominations up to $1,000. If a customer needs a money order for more than this amount, they would just need to buy multiple money orders until they reach the desired amount. Paying for a money order upfront eliminates the fear of overdrawing an account due to a bounced check or someone holding on to a check so long that you forget to account for it in your budgeting.
As far as fees, the average cost of a cashier’s check from a bank is $9.10, according to MyBankTracker.com. In contrast, money order fees range from totally free up to a few dollars. With such a difference in fees, it’s easy to see why one would choose a money order over a bank cashier’s check.
Just looking at some of the services offered by check cashing stores makes it easy to understand why so many consumers prefer them over traditional banks. Many have grown tired of banks’ hidden fees, lack of transparency, and poor customer service and are drawn to the people-oriented customer experience provided by check cashing stores.
Contrary to what critics have to say, people use check cashing services not because they don’t understand banks, but because these establishments conveniently offer the same services as banks, without the fear of hidden fees coming back to haunt them later. In addition, many people who still maintain a traditional bank account use check cashing stores to supplement their transactions. The myriad of services offered makes it easy to see why.
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