Saving the cheque

15 April 2011

News this week that the cheque might be saved is a relief to me as I’m someone who still believes not everything has to be modernised.

Back in December 2009 the board of the UK Payments Council announced cheques would be phased out by 2018 if a suitable alternative had been developed.

But now Treasury Select Committee chairman, Andrew Tyrie MP, says after being inundated with letters from people who rely on cheques, the inquiry will be reopened to reconsider scrapping cheques.

The Treasury is right in saying that it will really punish older people and those who aren’t comfortable banking online, but I reckon it would hit everyone. I’m young and certainly not a technophobe, but I still regularly find myself reaching for my cheque-book. My dentist for example doesn’t take cards and they’re great for splitting bills with my flatmates.

My dad is a big fan of cheques too and is forever writing them out to various businesses, handymen and family members. Many small businesses use cheques as their main source of money transfer and don’t have any other option.

With an increasing number of online frauds reported every year, using a cheque seems a safer and more reliable way to exchange money. With Barclays I also have to use a card reader to access my account, which I never have on me so a cheque is invariably the next best option.

Modern technology has made a lot of things in life easier, but there are always problems. Computers can crash and internet programs can be infected with viruses, destroying years of photos, files and information.

My feelings about cheques might seem outdated, but while there still is a use for them, it seems irrational for them to be scrapped completely.