People here normally do not carry their checkbooks around. Do you? I think it is probably because personal checks are not that readily accepted by smaller-scale stores. I hear that overseas as in the West, personal checks are accepted even for small amounts.
And now, the U.S. is going as far as accepting phone check. How it works is that the system allows a business to print a check draft of its customer's check when authorized and immediately deposit the check draft. A powerful Windows-based software makes this possible.
Third World countries have a lot to catch up on..