With the release of the Liquid Card from Chase bank, checking accounts may be a thing of the past.

Despite opposition regarding it as just another reloadable debit card, the new product is certainly turning some heads.

The Chase Liquid Card has been in development for some time now and with its final release excitement is in the air. Many consumers have been waiting for this nationwide launch and are looking forward to taking advantage of the benefits of the new card.

Industry experts, on the other hand, are not so certain the card will make the impact the hype has led the public to believe.

In order to better determine for yourself whether or not the Chase Liquid Card could benefit you it is important to look at some of the statistics.

Just a decade ago, for example, checks were the most common form of non-cash payments. Compared to 2010, though, checks are nearly obsolete, with electronic payments (debit and online, etc) making up 80 percent of checking account activity. This is according to research performed by the Federal Reserve.

Executive Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank, Rich Oliver, says that

The payments industry has experienced a dramatic shift in check usage from 2001 through the end of the decade. The shift toward electronic noncash payment alternatives, along with electronic check processing, has been extraordinary.

This is truly an exacting statement as it was not so long ago in recent history that balancing a checkbook was a common lesson taught in high school business or home economics classes.

If you belong to one of the last demographics to have ever written a check, you can probably recall the equal excitement and dread of learning the process of filling out the paper check and balancing a ledger for the first time.

Of course, children of this generation may never know this experience with 24/7 online access to not only payment systems but banking services making it much easier to keep track of finances on a whim.

Similarly, electronic direct deposit and debit card payments are on the rise so it seems that the need for manual tracking through a checkbook is quickly becoming obsolete.

The Chase Liquid Card, then, promises to offer the same convenience you may be used to with your basic checking account and debit card, but with several other benefits:

  • The $4.95 monthly fee is much lower than the $12 checking fee for Chase Total Checking.
  • You can avoid the monthly fee by either keeping a minimum of $1500 in your account or by processing at least $500 in direct deposits every month. It is very important to remember that these are the only two options for avoiding the monthly fee. Not everyone is able to fulfill one or both of these requirements, which might make the Chase Liquid card less appealing to a particular segment of the banking population.
  • ATM withdrawals from any of the 17,500+ ATMs in the Chase network are free.
  • You can quickly and easily transfer funds between your Chase accounts and Chase Liquid account for free.
  • Request a paper statement or an online version, call customer service, get text alerts, or replace a lost or stolen card for free (online, over the phone, or in the bank, of course).

Ryan McInerney, CEO of Consumer Banking at Chase, comments on the benefits of the Chase Liquid Card:

Chase Liquid is a low-cost alternative to traditional checking accounts and its convenience and pricing transparency sets a new standard for prepaid products. Customers can use Chase Liquid to make everyday purchases, pay bills and more, without any surprise charges.