Kum & Go Cancels Checks

11-state convenience retailer will no longer accept checks at any of its stores

Greg Lindenberg, Editor, CSP

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Citing declining use and speed of service, convenience store chain Kum & Go LC will stop accepting checks at all of its locations in 11 states beginning July 1.

"We have begun alerting our customers to this upcoming change with signage in stores," company spokesperson Megan Elfers told CSP Daily News. "We are making this change to ensure that we can continue to provide the best service to all of our customers. We have found that checks results in slower service and lead to greater complexity in our stores"

She added, "Checks used as a form of payment in our stores has declined over 75% since 2007. Today, check-paying customers represent a very small (less than 1%), but valued set of customers. We understand that this will be a difficult transition for our current check-paying customers."

Elfers said that the stores are encouraging current check-paying customers to use other forms of payment, including cash, debit cards, credit cards and Kum & Go's fleet card.

The West Des Moines, Iowa-based retailer has posted signs on the doors of its locations alerting customers to the proposed change, said a report by The Gazette.

Casey's General Stores Inc., Kum & Go's primary competitor in eastern Iowa, plans no change in how customers can pay for fuel or other purchases, William Walljasper, senior vice president and CFO for the Ankeny, Iowa-based chain, told the newspaper.

Rockford, Ill.-based Road Ranger also plans to continue accepting personal checks for purchase, it told the paper. 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 convenience retailer, accepts personal checks drawn on local banks and credit unions at its Kwik Star-branded stores in eastern Iowa, the report said. It does not accept checks from out-of-state financial institutions.

With an increase in the use of debit and credit cards, many c-store chains with locations in larger markets such as Chicago, New York and San Diego have stopped accepting personal checks, according to the Gazette.

Kum & Go is the fifth largest privately held, company-operated convenience store chain in the United States. The family-owned company began in 1959, in Hampton, Iowa, and has approximately 425 c-stores in 11 states (Iowa, Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming). In addition to a wide selection of products, Kum & Go provides customers a proprietary mix of products under the Hiland brand. Other proprietary product offerings include Java Ridge Premium Coffee, Napa Creek and Sea Ridge wines, Go Fresh Market sandwiches and Nuclear energy drinks.