Banks to kill off cheques
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?