No Check-Out for Cheques-or Choice!

Posted on: 20/07/2011

I am delighted to be contributing to this excellent Web Site and there can be no better time for me to make my first contribution than the week after the UK Payments Councils decision not to end Cheque Clearing in 2018. 

In my role as a Director of the UK Payments Council, I have been fully involved in all the discussions regarding the future of cheques.

Since I first joined the Payments Council Board in 2007, my stance has always been that both the UK Public and the UK Economy need a wide-variety of transparently priced payment methods.

Cash, Cheques and Cards all have their part to play in stimulating economic activity. None is a true substitute for another-the UK needs them all.

Clearly, new payment methods may emerge to augment those that already exist-but they face massive competition from our three current "favourites".

Cash has been with us for around 3000 years. Cheques have been used for at least 500 years. Plastic Cards are relatively "Johnny Come Latelys", having first appeared only about a century ago, but even 100 years is quite a long time, so Cards, like Cash and Cheques, deserve some respect.

In my view, it will probably never be either possible, much less desirable, to "phase out" any of the existing payment methods favoured by the UK Public (that's you and me, by the way!)

As I have said, new payment methods will emerge and, if they prove popular, they can join the three existing preferences. That will add to the choice available to us all AND choice is always a good thing, both for individuals and for the UK as a whole.

The abandonment by the Payments Council of 2018 as the end date for Cheque Clearing is something I both supported and applaud.

The Council can now move on to stimulate choice, not reduce it.

I can assure you that I will be assisting greatly with that stimulation! 

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