Is Gen Z Missing Out on Knowing How to Write a Check?

In today’s increasingly digital world, the younger generation, commonly known as Gen Z, is often perceived as tech-savvy and glued to their gadgets. This poses certain challenges. It’s been noted, sometimes humorously, that many in the Gen Z category struggle with basic, traditional tasks like writing a physical check, reading cursive or paper maps.

Understanding Gen Z

Gen Z comprises individuals born between 1997 and 2012. This generation has made its way into a highly digitized and fast-paced era, learning and adapting instead to digital payments, typing, GPS, and digital files. This doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t perform traditional tasks, but rather that they may not have had the exposure or need to learn them as previous generation did.

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Why Gen Z Doesn’t Write Checks

The key factors behind Gen Z’s unfamiliarity with check writing are the digital revolution and the evolution of banking systems. Electronic banking, mobile payment apps, and online financial transactions are now standard. Just as past generations moved from trade-by-barter systems to currency and banking, Gen Z is evolving with the introduction of digital forms of money and transactions. Bank transfers and e-mails are faster and more convenient; many in Gen Z may see physical checks as a relic, much like handwritten letters in the age of e-mail.

The Bigger Picture: Skills Gen Z Do Have

The focus on specific tasks that Gen Z supposedly cannot perform often overlooks their capabilities, skills, and the different challenges they face. They may not write checks or read a paper map, but they excel in things like social media marketing, coding, and digital designing – skills as relevant today as check writing was decades ago. Furthermore, they are enterprising and adaptable, eager to learn and work, and highly conscious about ethical and environmental issues that previous generations may have overlooked.

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Dealing with Gen Z’s Distinctive Traits in the Work Space

When employing or working with Gen Z it is important to understand their perspective. They may have strong opinions about work-life balance and pay transparency, they may struggle to disconnect at the end of the workday, and mental health is a more open topic for them than for previous generations. It would be hugely beneficial for employers to nurture these traits as they can contribute to a more harmonious, ethical and transparent working environment.


The fact that Gen Z may not know how to write a check does not signal a decline in skills, but rather an evolution of them. It’s a shift to a new platform where certain skills become obsolete, giving way to newer ones that are in sync with the times. Regardless of generation, the key to coexistence is understanding, accommodation, and a continuous desire to learn and adapt. By looking past the difference and seeing the potentials, any gaps between generations can serve as a bridging point, rather than a dividing one.

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