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An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

UK banks set to vote on abolition of cheques

The UK's major banks are set to vote next month on whether to stop clearing cheques as consumers increasingly turn to cards and electronic transfers.


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Retain the Cheques for Small Business and Small People

I see both sides of this coin at the Children's Charity (Playgroup) I run.

Only yesterday I received 3 Invoices, none of which contained any Bank details, so I was obliged to pay by Cheque. I’m just finishing off a Cheque Book I started in September 2006.

I even have some Suppliers whose latest Invoices show no Bank details, yet earlier Invoices did, so I continue to pay them via Internet Banking even though they don't make it easy for me.

So even if all Cheques don't go away, I’d like to see all Suppliers putting their Bank details on their Invoices – that way it saves me 45p for Postage & Envelope even before I add in Bank charges – and I'm assured of payment having been received, and I don’t have to juggle any Accruals.

On the other hand most Parents pay by Cheque. My operating margins are so fine I don't want to have to take Credit Card – Merchant charges at 2% would wipe out all my trading surplus.

I already struggle with reconciling my Bank Statement for those Parents who pay by ChildCare Vouchers. I get about 25 of these a month, and the transaction information can be terrible : whereas Care-4 and Allsave provide the Childs Name, Accor sometimes only provides the Childs First Name (if they have a long one), BusyBees only provide a 10-digit Reference number which means we have to look them up in our records, and Sodexho sometimes provides the Childs Surname only, or only the First Name, or even only the Parent's Name, but more often provides only the Date DDMMYY of the transaction, with nothing to identify the Child/Parent. And getting any of the above changed is impossible.

At least with a Cheque the Parent can write the Child(s) Name on the back of the Cheque - very useful when typical of modern times the Child might be on the Register with Father's Surname, but we are given a Cheque drawn on a Bank Account in Mothers (different) Surname.

Imagine the chaos if the 70 or so Cheques a week I get were transformed into Internet Banking; trying to match up anonymous transactions with Children's Accounts; people arguing they had paid when they hadn't.

I'd imagine we have a retrograde step where People without Internet Access would revert to going to the ATM and paying me in Cash – thus increasing my Security Risks and putting up my Banking Charges.

Finally - when we hire equipment eg Bouncy Castle for FunDays, we pay out a Refundable Deposit by Cheque – when the equipment is returned the Cheque is torn up – how would Refundable Deposits be paid without Cheques? I don't fancy arguing with someone about the return of a £250 deposit.

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Comments: (1)

Keith Appleyard
Keith Appleyard - available for hire - Bromley 01 December, 2009, 11:42Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

If we become 100% dependent upon Internet Banking, then we need a reliable process.

I have a Switch Debit Card that has to be inserted into a Xiring Card Reader every time I introduce a new Payee. When my Card Reader broke, it took 2 weeks for a replacement to arrive - during which time at least I could fall back on Cheques. I now have a spare Card Reader as backup.

My Card is looking a little worse for wear; if it breaks (or is lost), then I could wait a week for a Replacement Card; where is the Business Continuity then?

It's one thing to take 14-30 days to pay a Supplier - its something else if I'm paying a 40-person Payroll - in any given month of course I've got a new Starter, or someone has changed their Bank details - so I need a Debit Card + Card Reader Back-up service - and Cheques could serve that purpose.

Keith Appleyard

Keith Appleyard

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