The Payments Council on the 12 July announced that cheques will continue for as long as the british customer need them and until such times a viable and a more effective alternative is found.
During their research, the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company found that over half of consumers with bank accounts were using cheques as a method of payment; although 60% of the consumers asked said they were writing fewer cheques compared to three years ago. The main reason for the consumer to write a cheque was to pay a bill by post this represented 36%; while paying tradesman in the home 24%; paying clubs/societies 14%; donations to charity 14%; as a gift 38% and finally as a refund 25%
The C & CCC reported that in business over 80% of companies at some point over the last year wrote and received a cheque.
32% of UK businesses sited that the reason cheques were written was to enable them to better manage their cash flow; compliance with the payee’s request to be paid by cheque represented some 25%; and finally, the ability to control which employees are allowed to make payments on behalf of the company was 23%.
But despite the good news for the continuance of the cheque scheme, figures show that there is a steady decline in cheque usage 11% for the 2010 compared to 13% in 2009. This has largely been attributed to retailers and petrol chains stopping the acceptance of cheques and moving to chip and pin from 2005 – 08.
If you compare the rise and fall of cheques; a total of 1.1 billion cheque payments were made in 2010 of which 620 million were written by consumers and 493 million by businesses. Cheque volumes were down by 72% from the peak of 4 billion transactions in 1990!
Although the general trend is downward for cheques it is still good news for the accredited cheque print suppliers in the UK and also for british industry and consumers generally.