Twenty years ago the standard way to do financial transactions involved: going into your local branch during banking hours, waiting in a line, doing your deposits, transfers, bill payments, withdrawing your cash, and leaving to do your other business. Bills were often paid by mailing a cheque, which usually took a few weeks to come out of your account, and if you ever wanted to pay for something without a cheque you had to go back to your branch again to withdraw cash during banking hours.
Today consumers have a variety of ways to do their financial transactions whenever and wherever they want, faster and more accessible than 20 years ago. Between debit cards, online banking, mobile banking (using cell phones), e-mailing money, and ATMs.
In addition to the convenience and speed of these electronic services, the decrease in cheque usage has resulted in retailers receiving far fewer NSF cheques which saves stores both time and money. Instead of waiting for cheques to be deposited, and hopefully not bounced, debit machines allow an instant transfer of cash from the purchaser to the retailer.