Payments Council cancels plans for cheque withdrawal

19th July 2011

You may recall that in May this year we wrote a blog item drawing your attention to the end of June cessation of the Cheque Guarantee Card Scheme.   Whilst this was considered an inconvenience it raised few concerns largely because a large proportion of consumers didn’t understand how the cards worked in the first place!

There was however a large public outcry at the announcement of the closure of the cheque clearing system planned for 2018 .  Although cheque use has been declining since 1990, about half of all cheques in the UK are used by businesses.  Many charities also raised concerns about how to adapt to the potential loss of income that losing cheques would have.

It is therefore a welcome relief to many consumers that last week Richard North, the Chairman of The Payments Council announced that cheques will continue for as long as customers need them and the target for the possible closure of the cheque clearing system in 2018 has been cancelled.

The Payments Council  is the organisation that sets strategy for UK payments to ensure the systems and services meet the needs of users and further consultation with stakeholder groups led them to the announcement.  The Payments Council will continue to focus their efforts on security and efficiency and encourage innovation for a suitable alternative for consumers.

So, it would seem that the good old fashioned cheque, that has been with us since Roman times lives to fight another day!

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