Brits ditching cheques, says Bacs

Source: BACS Payment Schemes

Large companies in Great Britain like Boots and Tesco are responding to customer spending patterns and restricting the use and acceptance of cheques – and according to new research, smaller, independent businesses ought to consider following suit!

Over the last year, 61 per cent of adults admitted to no longer using cheques to pay for regular monthly commitments, as highlighted in a new survey by BACS Payments Schemes Limited (BACS) - the industry body behind Direct Debit and BACS Direct Credit.

BACS research shows that over the last 10 years, cheque usage has declined across virtually all regular household and individual commitments. There has also been a decrease in the number of organisations using cheques to make their own business-related payments.

According to BACS, the number of business cheques written for regular trade payments dropped 6 per cent in the last two years. In the same period of time there was also a 6 per cent decline in usage for paying employee expenses. A further 6 per cent decline is expected in all business cheques every year until 2015.

Michael Chambers, Managing Director, BACS Payments Schemes, said: "For some time now, our data has indicated that cheque usage is in steady decline by consumers and businesses alike. During 2006 some British retailers stopped accepting cheques and as some of the country's largest corporates turn their back on the cheque, small-to-medium enterprises (SME's) really ought to take note. Our research tells us that Direct Debit and BACS Direct Credit are now seen as the easier way to pay and receive money. By following suit and embracing automated payment methods for regular business transactions, British companies could reap significant rewards including strengthened business and employee relationships and importantly, increased cash flow control."

Figures were produced as part of the Consumer Payments Survey (CPS), an annual survey sponsored by BACS. The survey, which began in 1988, provides a consumer based measure of financial behaviour and includes attitudes to money, banking behaviour, and Direct Debit. The fieldwork, which is representative of the GB population, is carried out by Ipsos-MORI.

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