/ Money

Result! Together we saved the cheque

People crossing the finishing line

Start spreading the news, the cheque has been saved! The Payments Council announced yesterday that cheques will continue in circulation for as long as consumers need them – and the victory is largely down to you.

This is fantastic news for consumers and ensures that the millions of consumers who use cheques are not left out in the cold.

I’ve written several times about cheques on this site and the response I’ve received every time has been overwhelming; you want to save the cheque. You’ve posted over 300 comments, helping us to identify the numerous reasons why the cheque should be saved and the countless situations in which the cheque is the most suitable method of payment.

Payments Council sees sense

We’ve taken your comments to Parliament, the Payments Council and the industry and now it seems they have finally seen sense.

The decision came after a surge of public support for the retention of the cheque. As members of the public voiced their concerns, more and more parliamentarians and banks started to sit up and listen. Speaking yesterday, Richard North, the Chairman of the Payments Council said:

‘It’s in the DNA of the Payments Council to consult and listen to all those people who actually make payments and use cheques. Listening to over 600 stakeholder groups, working with the banks and following our appearance before the Treasury Select Committee, we have concluded we should reassure customers that the cheque is staying.’

Bowing to public pressure

The Payments Council’s appearance in front of the Treasury Select Committee may be regarded as the turning point in this saga. If you haven’t watched the session I would recommend it. At times the questioning is brutal. However, this point was only reached because of the public pressure that has built up over recent months.

People made their feelings clear to their MP, to the Payments Council themselves and to organisations such as Which?. In the end the groundswell of public support for the cheque made the Payments Council finally see sense. Now this ruling has been made banks need to make sure they listen to what their customers want and stop any attempts to discourage people from using cheques.

I normally write on this site to ask a question or to find out more about an issue. Today I am writing to give you all a pat on the back. People power has won out.

Comments
Member

At last – some common sense. A tribute to all the people whose views are so often ignored in the name of ‘progress’, but who spoke loud and clear about how abolishing cheques was a mistake. And a sigh of relief for charities, schools and many other small organisations who rely on this form of payment.

Member

This is fabulous news. I am a Guide Leader and receive the termly subs by cheque. I also did not feel comfortable about the thought of sending my daughter to school with large amounts of money for school trips. Excellent People Power!

Member

Battle ONE won – now for battle TWO – the return of Cheque Guarantee cards.

Member

Absolutely Ricky – I was about to post the exact same thought but you got there first.

Since the Payments Council went ahead and stopped the guarantee scheme on June 30th (a few days after their appearance before the select committee at which Richard North was made to look a thorough fool – and for all I know he probably is – and at which time they COULD have u-turned if they had wished) a vast number more shops have stopped taking cheques, which undoubtedly was the motivation for stopping the guarantee scheme.

Now they have been forced to admit cheques are needed how about giving retailers and issuers the confidence back that cheques are also still reliable.

Come on Which?, select Committee and Payments Council; get to work!

Member

I am so pleased that common sense has prevailed. Customers should be the people deciding if they want to use cheques, not Banks trying their big brother tactics. I can remember when the bank manager knew all his customers and greeted them by name, and asked if he could help when you entered his bank. Now perhaps we could return to banks looking after their customers instead of trying to dictate what they should and should not do!

Member
Stuart says:
13 July 2011

Oh well done ! Why not campaign to bring back £SD and scrap decimalisation while you’re at it ! It’s a pointless ‘victory ‘. The banks are scrapping cheque guarantee cards, so no one will accept cheque payment anyway.

Member

There are thousands of organisations who already accept cheques without guarantee cards – schools, Guiding and Scout Associations, school dinner companies, PTAs, not to mention charities.

Member

well said Kate C – I would have thought that the very few, short sighted, selfish and rather foolish people who don’t like cheques would have had enough and gone away to play with the traffic by now after the trouncing they got on the earlier boards on this subject.

I do believe we are supposed to live in an age of “Equality”, “Diversity” and “CONSUMER CHOICE”, so let’s have those things applied to payment methods as well as to what the law enforces eh?

Member

Stuart: Sorry if this does not suit you but the reasons for keeping cheques have been made clear on this site. I would also like to see the return of the cheque guarantee card, but to cover a larger amount than £50. As before, it could be combined with a debit card.

I’m only going to use cheques when there is no practical or secure alternative.