The Cheque and Credit Clearing Company (C&CCC) has today (9 September 2008) published data on cheques processed over the course of one day.
Marking the third anniversary of the decision by the first major retailer to stop accepting cheques (Shell, September 2005), the statistics published today reveal that despite falling popularity, there are still around five million cheques processed on the average clearing day.
The data, from a typical cheque clearing day, also showed:
- The most common value of a cheque value was £50 (over 120,000 items)
- 48.4 per cent of all cheques processed were for over £100 in value
- Of all cheques under £100, more than a quarter (28 per cent) were for exact pound amounts
- There were 57 cheques processed for exactly one penny, and coincidentally 57 cheques for over £1 million.
- The highest value single cheque processed was for almost £10 million (£9,637,788.00)
However, the number of cheque payments made by consumers each year continues to fall; more than halving over the last decade from 2.9 cheque payments per adult per month in 1997 to 1.4 payments in 2007. According to consumer research carried out for C&CCC this year, some 25 per cent of all account holders neither write nor receive cheques at all.
Sandra Quinn, director of communications at APACS and spokesperson for C&CCC, said: "These statistics gleaned from the cheques processed over the course of one day offer an interesting snapshot of Britain's use of cheques. While the data reveals that there are still some uses for payments by cheque - from one penny's worth to nearly £10 million - it is also increasingly clear that many consumers and businesses are acting on the fact that there are quicker and more convenient ways to pay and be paid. This trend is clearly demonstrated by the move we've seen over the past three years as a growing ensemble of major high street retailers have taken the step of no longer accepting cheques."