Moving Beyond the Paper (Checking) Trail

Old habits die hard. Especially when it comes to digital payments. Even in an age when almost every activity has a digital counterpart (even dating, with avatars), paper checks remain a stubborn fallback for consumers who happily share their most intimate details on social media, or buy shoes online.

In a panel discussion earlier this month titled “The Check is in the Digital Mailbox,” PYMNTS president Gloria Colgan, Chuck Cordray, chief executive officer of Inlet, and Chris Johnson, vice president and general manager of Inlet, delved into the experience of consumers still inundated with paper – and the perplexing questions surrounding why they choose to remain inundated.

Noting that 80 percent of customers making bill payments across a variety of industries, from phone bills to utility bills to banking, opt to conduct business via dead trees, from getting statements in the mail, to sending checks out in response, Colgan noted the dichotomy between those activities and the fact that we have digital technology that is embraced for shopping – and the question is, and remains, how to take digital and bill payments and integrate them, boosting efficiency.

The numbers are sobering as presented by Inlet: there’s a bit of crossover as 57 percent of consumers receive paper and digital documents, while 23 percent only wish to do business via paper and a relatively paltry 20 percent opt for paperless, a number Inlet has said is “stalled.”


Chuck Cordray
CEO, Inlet

Chris Johnson
VP and General Manager, Inlet

Gloria Colgan
President at