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Businesses differ on how they handle checks

ASHLAND, Ky. -- Before there was plastic, merchants had two choices when it came to accepting payment: paper or paper. That is paper in the form of cold hard cash or cash in the form of paper checks.

Nowadays, however, merchants have other options for making the exchange between their merchandise and your paycheck with the use of debit cards and credit cards as popular ways to pay for items.

Yet there are still some who prefer the old-fashioned way and with the threat of checks that may be deliberately written for non-sufficient funds, merchants can be wary, especially if the check is from out of state.

In the Tri-State area, shopping can easily include writing a check out of state, even if the shopper has only traveled a few miles from home. Yet it seems a great number of merchants will accept an out of state check.

“I don’t know of any policies with the stores here (for not accepting out of state checks) with our being a Tri-State area to accept them from Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia,” according to Mary Hurn, general manager of the Ashland Town Center. “A lot of them have a check approval system.”

She added that often the decision on accepting checks may be made from a corporate office that can be headquartered away from here.

In an informal survey conducted by Chrissy Dillow, Kyova Mall marketing director, of the 13 stores at the Boyd County mall, only one —- Master Cuts —- doesn’t accept out of state checks. Master Cuts does not accept checks at all.

C.J. Banks, a clothing store in Ashland Town Center and headquartered in Minnesota, recently introduced a new check cashing policy.

“At this store as well as other stores within the company, we have recently implemented a policy to not accept out of state checks,” according to a company statement read by district manager Mikkie Pierce. “The company’s efforts such as this are intended to reduce the company’s losses from NSF checks. All of our customers ultimately benefit if we can keep our prices lower by reducing our check losses.”