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Daily View: The end of cheques

Clare Spencer | 09:05 UK time, Thursday, 17 December 2009

cheque bookThe announcement that payment by cheque will be abolished in 2018 has got commentators saying their farewells.

David McKie says its not only charities who will be sorry to see the cheque go, but also those who see getting their first cheque-book as a rite of passage:

"That moment was prefaced in many cases with a kind of initiation, in the form of an almost adult interview with the branch bank manager. The stately local equivalent of Captain Mainwaring would introduce you to the mysteries of the procedure: the amount changing hands written in words on a line and in numbers in an adjoining box, and the process completed with your own peculiar signature, which new account holders may have spent many hours devising."

The Daily Mail calls the abolition of the cheque a selfish move by cost-cutting bankers:

"This change is being made for the financial self-interest of the banks.
Not content with plunging Britain into debt to bail them out of their own mess, the financiers have found yet another way to thumb their nose at consumers."

Richard Tyler at the Telegraph says Christmas time reminds us why cheques should stay:

"At this time of year I still receive a few cheques in the post, hidden within Christmas cards from relatives who have become sick of sending me socks. They don't want to send cash in the post and the idea of receiving a present by electronic transfer does not fill me with joy."

The Independent wonders what the alternative to the oversized cheque will be:

"Indeed, the cheque might not have survived this far, had it not been for lotteries and the Pools. A bank transfer is no substitute for seeing real numbers inscribed on a giant cheque. Starting now, they have nine years to find an alternative."

Liz Hoggard in the Independent thinks the cheque-book used to signify a different relationship with credit and bank managers:

"But he had one key weapon. If you didn't turn up to discuss your overdraft, he didn't reissue your cheque book. And life stopped."

Mof Gimmers at the consumer blog BitterWallet wonders about the motivation of the banks:

"One other factor worth considering is that, whilst cheques cost the banks money, things like BACS payments actively earn them money. Could it be that our financial institutions are going to encourage us to do stuff that costs us money at the behest of something that doesn't?"

Rob Lewis at the personal finance blog Money Watch is more optimistic:

"This will be a good opportunity for the development of new and improved methods of payment, such as using mobile phones to pay small bills."

Links in full

GuardianDavid McKie | Guardian | A fond farewell to the cheque
MailDaily Mail | Our selfish bankers
TelegraphRichard Tyler | Telegraph | Why cheques should stay
IndependentIndependent | Cheque out
IndependentLiz Hoggard | Independent | It's out of credit, but I owe the cheque book
see alsoMof Gimmers | BitterWallet | Banks to kill off cheques
Money WatchRob Lewis | Money Watch | Cheques To Disappear: The Real Losers
Bar-six blogBar Six | Cheque this out!

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