Soon, shoppers will not be able to write a check to pay for the contents of their Target shopping baskets.

The Minneapolis retailer said it will stop accepting personal checks in stores later this month, a payment method that has dwindled in popularity through the years as more people use credit and debit cards as well as a growing segment of digital-exchange platforms.

"Target is committed to creating an easy and convenient checkout experience, and that includes providing our guests with numerous ways to pay, including our new Target Circle Cards (formerly known as Target RedCard); cash; digital wallets; SNAP/EBT; buy now, pay later services; and credit and debit cards," said Target company spokesman Brian Harper-Tibaldo in an email. "Due to extremely low volumes, we'll no longer accept personal checks starting July 15. We have taken several measures to notify guests in advance to aid an easy and efficient checkout experience."

Customers can still send checks through the mail to pay their Target Circle Card credit balance.

Check usage — which in the 1980s and '90s had been a dominant form of payment for everyday activities from paying rent to sending a gift — has fallen considerably in recent years. Checks represented about half of noncash payments in the United States in 2003, but that number fell to 15% in 2012, according to data from the Federal Reserve.

According to the Federal Reserve's most recent payment choice report, out of the average 46 monthly payments consumers made in 2023, one a month was by check. Back in 2016, consumers averaged three checks out of 45 payments per month.

The decline of check payments in the past decade only accelerated during the pandemic as more consumers began to widely use contactless virtual payments, including digital wallets and peer-to-peer (P2P) apps such as Zelle, Venmo and PayPal, said Elisa Tavilla, director of debit adviser services for payments and banking consultancy Javelin Strategy & Research.

Only 1% of consumers prefer to use checks when making in-store purchases like at retail stores or restaurants, according to a 2023 North America payment insights study by Javelin Strategy & Research.

"Certainly at the point of sale, it creates friction and can slow down the checkout process for other customers because it requires more manual entry," said Tavilla, who could recall the holdups checks caused her when she was working as a cashier for a retailer 20 years ago in college.

According to their websites, discount grocer Aldi and organic store Whole Foods also don't take checks.

There are still plenty of places that still accept checks, though, such as Richfield-based electronics chain Best Buy and Cub Foods stores.