It looks like the era of the personal check is coming to an end, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.

  Texas-based Whole Foods Market is the latest major company to announce that it will no longer accept personal checks for payment from customers.

  Thomas Cannon, a business professor at UTSA, says its a sign of the times, and you might want to start thinking about retiring the old check book.

  "Businesses are looking at ways they can save money on their bottom line, and if you can avoid having bounced checks, that is probably the way most businesses are going to be going," he said.

  He thinks this will mean the end of those 'hot check roundups' periodically conducted by local law enforcement.

  Cannon says most customers today would prefer to pay with debit cards.  He says concerns that many people have had about the safety and veracity of debit cards and electronic transfers.

  "The consumer is becoming much accepting of a paperless sales transaction," he said.

  Cannon expects other major retailers soon to follow suit and the check to pass into history.