New technologies come and go, but the paper cheque remains a popular staple for UK consumers and businesses, according to new figures from the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company.
Although the number of cheques written last year (718 million) is down by 68% compared with the 2,251 million cheques written in 2003, 44% of the general public are still choosing to use the paper medium, with the most common reasons being to pay a bill by post, pay a tradesperson or to pay a club or society.
Businesses are using fewer cheques than consumers, writing 293 million of them in 2013, but it was a more popular way for them to pay with 64% whipping out their cheque books last year.
Unsurprisingly, the average value of a business cheque written last year was nine times higher than that for a personal cheque, at £2,167 versus £242.
Angela Thomas, managing director of the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company, says: “Although their usage continues to decline, many consumers and businesses are still choosing to use cheques in certain situations. With nearly two million cheques written every day last year it’s clear that for some of us - whether it’s paying the window cleaner or a business paying another business - there’s a preference to pay with a chequebook and pen.”