I am of the older generation although it pains me to admit it! I enjoyed the good old days when you could go shopping and pay for items by cheque enjoying the luxury of hanging on to hard earned cash a little longer. However, we now live in an electronic age don’t we???? So when I ask a debtor to deal with an electronic payment quite often a cheque will arrive on my desk by way of a substitute. It’s pretty inconvenient, it involves having to complete the paying in book, a drive to the bank, trying to find a parking space, queuing up to pay it in and then as if all that was not bad enough – a wait of at least 5 working days for it to clear!!!!!
So, rant over, I am in favour of their abolishment but apparently that’s not going to happen any time soon. What is happening is that the UK’s Cheque Guarantee Card scheme closes on the 30th June 2011.
The cheque guarantee card scheme was introduced in 1969, at that time credit cards and automated payments were quite new and debit cards weren’t yet with us. Over the past 20 years cheque volumes have decreased and more recently cheque as a method of payment has almost disappeared. The Payments Council which sets strategy for payments in the UK reviewed whether it would be in customer’s best interest to manage the demise of the scheme or let it wither on the vine allowing banks to withdraw the scheme separately. The Payments Council was consulted and market research carried out, the results supported the conclusion that it would be better for all if the decline and demise of the scheme was co-ordinated centrally.
The future …….. The Payments Council has set a target date of 2018 to close the central cheque clearing, however, this date is not set in stone and will only proceed if acceptable alternatives are in place and being used by all those who currently rely on cheques.
If you would like to know more have a look at www.paymentscouncil.org.uk