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Boots considers cheque ban

Trial scheme may be rolled out across UK


Signing a credit card slip

High-street chemist Boots is looking at banning the use of cheque payments at its 1,500 stores.

The chain is running a month-long trial of the idea at 46 stores in Sussex and Surrey, starting from the end of this month. Cheques currently account for only two purchases in every 1,000.

If the trial is successful, the scheme will be rolled out to the rest of the company’s stores from November.

Boots said the introduction of chip and Pin earlier this year had resulted in a 35 per cent fall in the number of cheque payments in the first quarter of the year.

Chip and Pin

A Boots spokesman said: ‘Payment by cheque can slow down transaction time at the till and so we’re running this trial to see what our customers think about this change.’

Shell no longer accepts cheques at its 900 petrol stations while Asda has also introduced a similar trial ban at 21 of its stores within the M25.

Earlier this year Apacs, the payment association which represents banks and credit card companies, said cheques now account for only 6 per cent of spending in shops.

Six million cheques per day were written in the UK in 2004, but there were 22.8 million credit and debit card transactions.

The cheque’s heyday was in 1990, when 11 million a day were written in the UK. Apacs predicts this number will fall to 3.5 million a day by 2014.

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