Victory for consumers as cheques win reprieveWhich? welcomes Payments Council announcement

12 July 2011

Cheques to stay

The Payments Council announces that cheques will stay

Which? today welcomed the announcement by the Payments Council that it won't be abolishing cheques in 2018.

After much lobbying by Which? and other interested organisations the Payments Council says it will not phase out cheques by 2018 as planned and that cheques will continue to exist so long as consumers need them.  

Victory for consumers

In response Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith said: 'This is great news for the millions of people who regularly use cheques. While it may be more convenient for the banks to process other forms of payment, it’s not so easy for their customers.

'To announce a timetable for the abolition of cheques before any suitable alternatives had been put in place was never a good idea. This is a victory for common sense.'

Cheques still popular

A poll of 1,338 people conducted in January revealed that 92% want to keep cheques.  The vote was conducted on the Which? Conversation, a community site where Which? experts cover burning consumer issues of the day and site visitors can post their views.

And an online omnibus survey of 1,311 members of the general public conducted in December 2010 revealed that 50% had written a cheque in the last month. 

Alternatives to cheques

Talking about the process the Payments Council has been through to reach this decision, Richard North the Chairman of the Payments Council said: 'We will use what we've learnt to keep improving existing systems as well as introducing innovation, so that customers benefit from 21st century ways to pay.  Innovation must be at the heart of what we do.'

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