Aug 14th, 2007
This is an interesting story for those of us in the “checks” business. It is the Harland Checks company financial statement. Their company lost about 10 times as much as they had in the previous year and among the reasons management stated for the losses was this:
the maturity of the principal industry in which the Harland Clarke segment operates and trends in the paper check industry, including a faster than anticipated decline in check usage due to increasing use of alternative payment methods and other factors
Taken from the CNN Money story on Harland Checks.
While there is an obvious movement towards electronic payments and away from paper based checks, there has also been an explosion in the styles and varieties of checks that are available. Combine this with the low prices and ease of ordering provided by ordering checks online and the business is still going strong.
Many checks companies, including giants like Wal*Mart are pushing more and more into this market, so it is my thought that the Harland Checks brand has become stale and that is more likely the cause of their loss of profit than the general personal paper based checks business decline.