UK consumers are shying away from using cheques to pay for goods, according to new research conducted by NOP, on behalf of HBOS banking group.
The study shows there has been a big decline in the number of people using cheques since their heyday in the 1960's. Forty-four per cent of interviewees says they use cheques less frequently than they did 3 years ago - 11% of Halifax current account holders never use cheques and almost 30% only use cheques once a month. Significantly 37% say their use of cheques will decline over the next 3 years.
Fifty-six per cent of customers interviewed believe the cheque will ultimately be phased out, with 84% of these thinking this will be within the next ten years. However, only 34% view phasing out the cheque as a good idea.
In comparison, 43% of current account holders use cash every day to pay for goods and services. Fifty-eight per cent of those questioned say they will continue to use cash as frequently as they currently do, over the next three years.
The research also forecasts that by the end of 2001, almost three billion debit card transactions will have taken place, overtaking payments made by cheques for the first time. Fifty-seven per cent of interviewees currently use debit cards at least once a week, with 12% saying they use them at least once a day. Older people (65+) are more likely to never use debit cards, whereas customers aged 18-34 use their debit cards the most.
Jack Cullen, head of retail banking, says: "The survey clearly demonstrates that the cheque is no longer the main payment method as they are used less than ever before. Cash and debit Cards are the currency of today."