Banks to kill off cheques

16 December 2009

A cheque, yesterday

If you read that headline to a blind person, they might think that our banks are going to kill all people from the Czech Republic. Well, tell them they are and make the rest of this article up.

For those of you who can see, you'll be aware that cheques may not figure in our lives for much longer as Britain's banks are voting tomorrow on whether or not to keep our cheque books in action or not.

Apparently, it costs £1 to process each cheque, which should give you the hint that it's very unlikely that the banks will want to keep them in circulation, as they'll favour the cheaper electronic and plastic options. As someone who used to process the vouchers at RBS, I can imagine there'll be people who will be more than happy to see the back of the bloody things.

The Payments Council is expected to set an end date of 2018 for cheque clearing in Britain, following the lead from Ireland and Scandinavian countries who are already phasing our cheques.

Of course, this won't affect readers of this site, who presumably do most of their banking online. But what about those folks who don't have a computer? We're looking at you Old People. Naturally, it's not just the trembling bath hands of geriatrics who write cheques. A lot of small businesses (labourers mainly) who still contribute a fair chunk of the 1.4bn cheques written every year.

One other factor worth considering is that, whilst cheques cost the banks money, things like BACS payments actively earn them money. Could it be that our financial institutions are going to encourage us to do stuff that costs us money at the behest of something that doesn't? Not including bounced cheques of course.

Whatever. My main concern lies elsewhere.

What will telethons do now when someone needs to present a charity with some money? The large novelty cheque will be replaced by someone leaping onto the left button of a giant mouse to electronically transfer the funds via a giganto novelty PC?

What will people win on Blankety Blank now?

[Guardian]

TOPICS:   Banking   Investments

23 comments

  • Nurdle
    HSBC have already got rid of cheque books for a lot of lower income customers, I suppose it was only a matter of time before this spread more widely.
  • happychops
    Bastard banks. That means Auntie will have to send cash every year, which will be right up Postman Twat's thieving street
  • Ian M.
    BACS actively earn banks money at the min, but with faster payments coming in that will go out the window
  • Wanking H.
    How will I pay my milkman? I can't leave cash out or the thieving kids will have it away.
  • piggy
    Not until 2018, by that time there won't be cash money around either - all done by chip cards and electronically.
  • Spark
    It's about fucking time. With any luck the banking system in this country may meet the standards set by the Japanese banks in the 1990's by around 2045.
  • andy
    milkman? Where do you live? in a galaxy far far away... without tescos or you hate being around people? :P
  • PaulH
    Confessions of a Milk Man...
  • martin
    Cheques cost £1 to process? Suggest weall send ourselves as many 1p cheqes between now and 2018, and watch their profits fall.
  • Chris
    I agree with martin! The more cheques in circulation for tiny amounts the less those greedy fucking bankers will see of any profit related pay!
  • Lee
    In response to the milkman query, my window cleaner bills me and I pay him with PayPal. Mention it to your milkman.
  • Chris
    First one written now... for 1p from a Natwest account to a Natwest savings account... :)
  • Greedy b.
    Hmm, with all the infrstructure, labour and regulation involved in processing cheques the Banks can do it for just £1, and yet to send out an automated letter for going 1p overdrawn it can cost up to £35, says it all really...................
  • Lee
    Isn't it time we phased out cash as well? A card is all you need.
  • David
    What will happen to all those services like cash4gold and mazoomamobile that can send you a cheque when you send them your gold phone? I'd sit here waiting for the cheque and it could never arrive. This whole plan has not been thought through properly. What about those great big charity cheques they show off with on Comic Childrens in Need? Somehow showing a PayPal email isn't going to do it, is it? And what if you win the lottery and Camelot have to come round your house with a massive cardboard box full of ten pound notes? Asking for trouble.
  • Nobby
    Is the answer a suck on Terry's cock?
  • CompactDistance
    David, ever heard of bank transfers?
  • Junkyard
    "A lot of small businesses (labourers mainly) who still contribute a fair chunk of the 1.4bn cheques written every year." Mof, don't leave me in suspense, please - finish your sentence!
  • MyOtherUserNameIsAFerarri
    Yeah, i think the answer is a suck on Terry's cock.
  • Ian M.
    yes go ahead write all your 1p cheques thinking your "beating the system" and "getting one up for the small man" just dont come fucking crying on here when the banks start lowering your interest rates and charge for day to day banking
  • Chris
    Loweing your interest rates.....?? How can 0.1% be lowered any further??
  • Cheques W.
    [...] Bitterwallet has identified the real losers when cheques disappear: telethons, which will need an alternative to the ubiquitous over-sized cheque: The large novelty [...]
  • Billy
    Feel free to stop over and leave a post on our blog.

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