Target will no longer accept personal checks at checkout starting July 15

Target will no longer accept personal checks at checkout starting July 15

Target Store
Target will close nine stores later this month due to heavy losses from theft and dangers to employees and customers.
BRENDAN MCDERMID

Target announced that it will no longer accept personal checks as a form of payment at its checkout locations starting July 15 to ensure a smooth and efficient checkout experience.

The retail giant cited “extremely low volumes” of personal check transactions as one reason. The use of personal checks has declined significantly in recent years. According to the Federal Reserve’s Financial Services, the use of personal checks fell to just 3% of payments in 2023, down from 4% in 2021 and 2022, and 7% in 2020.

Target confirmed that it has implemented several measures to inform customers ahead of the change, according to NBC News.

The retailer will continue to accept a variety of other payment methods, including cash, digital wallets like Apple Pay, SNAP/EBT, buy now, pay later services, and credit and debit cards.

Target’s acceptance of personal checks will remain in effect through the end of its Target Circle Week sale, which runs July 7-13.

Other major retailers that don’t accept personal checks include Aldi and Whole Foods Markets. Rival Walmart will continue to accept them.

The move to stop accepting personal checks is part of a broader effort by Target to streamline its checkout process and address theft concerns.

In March, the company announced plans to reduce or eliminate self-checkout options at some stores. Last month, Bloomberg News reported that Target lowered the threshold at which employees can intervene in cases of theft from $100 to $50.

Last fall, Target Chief Financial Officer Michael Fiddelke told investors that the company expected shoplifting to be a “significant financial headwind.”

Target, which operates about 2,000 stores in the United States, recently closed nine of its urban stores, including those in San Francisco, Seattle, Portland and New York’s Harlem neighborhood. The Harlem store was a frequent target of organized robberies.

The closures come as Target faces significant financial challenges attributed to “shrinkage,” an industry term that encompasses losses from shoplifting, vendor fraud and administrative errors.

“Growing losses remain a significant financial headwind, and we are committed to continuing to make progress in the years ahead,” Fiddelke said after the stores closed.