Texans wrote fewer checks for purchases in 2009 than in 2008, instead using their debit and credit cards.

Swacha, a Dallas nonprofit payments association, said that in its April online survey of 400 Texas consumers, 62% of respondents said they wrote fewer checks per month last year than in 2008. More than 90% of respondents said they had used a card to pay for a purchase of less than $500.

"Although the use of checks is declining, the paper check is still with us," Dennis Simmons, Swacha's president and chief executive, said in a press release.

Despite the decline in check writing for purchases, Texans still used checks for monthly expenses such as mortgages, water bills and car payments. Forty-two percent of respondents used checks to pay their mortgages or rent; 41% did so to pay their water bills; and 29% paid their car payment by check. Mortgage companies and auto lenders generally do not accept credit card payments.

Swacha did not break out debit and credit card transaction trends.

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