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Whole Foods to stop accepting checks on Sept. 1

Addie Broyles

Poking fun at (or outright complaining) about grocery store shoppers who still write checks has always annoyed me.

Maybe it’s because I still write a few checks every month and have a grandmother who refuses to get a debit card, but I’m never in such a rush that I can’t wait an extra 30 seconds for someone to fill out a check to pay for their groceries.

Usually, it’s an older shopper who is just used to buying groceries that way (and gets a thrill out of balacing a checkbook by hand, another ritual that many members of my family still hold onto), but sometimes, it’s a digitally savvy shopper who didn’t realize that she’d left her debit card in the back pocket of a pair of jeans at the house and didn’t want to pay for the groceries on the credit cards in her wallet.

(Not that I know anyone who has ever commited such a senseless act.)

But starting Sept. 1, customers at Austin-area Whole Foods Markets will not be able to pay with a personal check.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Whole Foods throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas will not accept payment by check beginning a week from today, an idea they first tested in California and Arizona in 2009.

Whole Foods stores in several other regions do not take checks, but the Texas-area stores will not be the last ones to make the transition, according to Lindsay Robison, a Whole Foods spokesperson.

Robison said that the store is making the switch in order to reduce wait times in line.

To my knowledge, every other grocery chain in the Austin area accepts checks.

Do you think stores should phase out checks? Should grocery stores be expected to hold out longer than other businesses because of the nature of what they sell?