Koreans continue to abandon cashier’s checks

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Koreans continue to abandon cashier’s checks

The average daily use of 100,000-won ($88) cashier’s checks in Korea continued to fall last year amid increasing use of electronic payments and availability of high-denomination bills, central bank data showed Tuesday.

The average daily settlement of the most-used denomination of cashier’s checks was valued at 31 billion won in 2018, down 27.3 percent from the previous year’s 43 billion won, according to data by the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The daily use of such bank checks has been on the decline since 2007, when the average daily settlement of such cashier’s checks was valued at a record 400 billion won. The decline came as more people began to prefer credit and mobile cards because of convenience of use. The 100,000 won check has also been increasingly replaced by 50,000 won notes, the highest cash denomination in Korea, since 2009.

“Increased use of the 50,000-won bill and electronic payments will further drag down the need for 100,000 won as settlement tools,” the BOK said. “Circulation of cashier’s checks will be nearly negligible within a few years.”

Meanwhile, the central bank data showed that the number of cash dispensers (CDs) and automated teller machines (ATMs) in Korea rose slightly in 2017 despite growing demand for internet and mobile banking services.

There were 121,492 CDs and ATMs across the country as of the end of 2017, up from 120,314 tallied a year earlier.

The increase came as banks reduced their own machines as part of cost-saving efforts, but the number of white-label devices rose, due in large part to non-bank operators that seek higher fees.

The number had been on a moderate decline since 2013 when it hit an all-time high of 124,236 as an increasing number of Koreans opt for internet and mobile banking services.

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