Queuing up at the bank to pay-in your cheque could be a thing of the past as new government proposals pave the way for change. You may soon be able to use your smartphone to send a picture of the cheque to the bank with new technology being able to process it within two days – rather than the usual six.
10% of all payments – GBP840bn – made by individuals last year were made via cheques which are still an integral part of the British payments landscape. 23 million cheques were sent through the post adding weight to the notion that they are still the most trusted method of sending money through the post.
As a result the government is consulting on introducing legislation which will speed up cheque payments making it easier for businesses and consumers to use the payment method in the modern age. The aim is to boost the status of the cheque and to help businesses – who accounted for over 370 million cheque transactions in 2012. 25 per cent of payments made by small businesses were by cheque in 2012.
Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Sajid Javid, said: “The government is determined to create a banking sector that works for consumers and serves businesses. We want to see more innovation so that customers see the benefits of new technologies. That is why we’re creating a new payments regulator and why we are going to consult on speeding up the cheque clearing process. We want to take the very best of the current system and make it better. We want to cheques to have a crucial role in the ongoing success of the UK.”
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