You may have read or heard that the days of the cheque are running out – but probably a lot sooner than many people realise. For starters you may have recently had a mailing from your Bank, but like most people put this in a pile of “Bank Stuff”. So in case you didn’t spot the change – from July this year the cheque guarantee system will end. That means that any cheque that you receive no longer has a backed up guarantee by the relevant Bank.
The so-called UK Payment Council also plans to abolish all cheques by 2018. The Treasury Select Committee has now re-opened an inquiry as there has been a reasonable number of concerned citizens that this really is not a good idea.
It is possible that you have not used your chequebook for some time – indeed you may not know where it is! but for some people this is a valuable transaction format. Not every small business offers credit card or point of sale payments (which cost everyone more anyway) and some people do not use or trust the Internet for the security of their financial transactions.
So the case has been re-opened. Those most affected will be those with poor credit records, small businesses and charities. In addition, elderly people tend to rely on their chequebook as their primary method of payment. I would add that whilst much progress has been made for for investments to be made electronically, there is still much to be desired across the investment sector.
Cheques are certainly not fraud or foolproof, but writing out a cheque has a psychological advantage – it provides one last opportunity to ask yourself “am I doing the right thing?” – something that Banks seem to rarely ask themselves.
So what are the UK Payments Council proposing instead to replace cheques – well payment via mobile phone is an option and would you believe it – but a “paper-initiated payment instrument” (I kid you not) – which of course sounds like a cheque, which yet again exposes the complete lunacy that seems rampant within the Banking system.
You can get involved by putting your comments to the Treasury Select Committee by Friday 6th May – just 4 weeks time.
Which? are running a petition
LibDems are too.
You could also get involved by pushing this post around your peers and friends.
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