Des Moines-based Kum and Go will stop accepting checks at all locations

Customer service speed cited in decision

A sign posted on the front door of the Kum & Go convenience store at 3132 First Ave. NE in Cedar Rapids alerts customers
A sign posted on the front door of the Kum & Go convenience store at 3132 First Ave. NE in Cedar Rapids alerts customers to the company decision not to accept checks for payment beginning July 1. The West Des Moines chain contends accepting checks results in slower customer service. (George C. Ford/The Gazette)

Kum & Go, with locations in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Marion among other Iowa communities, will stop accepting checks for purchases beginning  July 1.

The West Des Moines-based convenience store chain has posted signs on the doors of its locations alerting customers to the proposed change.

"We find that checks result in slower customer service and they also lead to greater complexity in our stores," said Megan Elfers, Kum & Go director of marketing and communications.

"Check-paying customers represent a really small but valuable set of our customers. They are less than 1 percent, but we absolutely understand this will be a difficult transition for them."

Casey's General Stores, Kum & Go's primary competitor in Eastern Iowa, plans no change in how customers can pay for  fuel or other purchases, said William Walljasper, senior vice president and chief financial officer of  the Ankeny-based convenience store chain.

Rockford, Ill.-based Road Ranger, which operates convenience stores in Cedar Rapids and Marion, also plans to continue accepting personal checks for purchase. The company requires customers to present appropriate identification and all checks are processed through TeleCheck, an electronic check acceptance, check processing and risk analytics service.

Kwik Trip, a La Crosse, Wis.-based company with convenience stores in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, accepts personal checks drawn on local banks and credit unions at its Kwik Star-branded stores in Eastern Iowa. It does not accept checks from out-of-state financial institutions.With an increase in the use of debit and credit cards, many convenience store chains with locations in larger markets such as Chicago, New York and San Diego have stopped accepting personal checks for payment.

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