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Wednesday 16th of December 2009

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August 7, 2007

Cheques out at Sainsbury

by Gill Montia

Story link: Cheques out at Sainsbury

Last week, J Sainsbury became the latest retailer to no longer accept payment by cheque.

The supermarket chain has made its decision on the grounds of cost and the fact that the number of customers paying by cheque is declining.

According to the Association for Payment Clearing Services, there has been a 40% decrease in cheque payments since 1990.

Research from Visa shows that almost 90% of retailers either no longer accept cheques, or are considering a trial ban. WH Smith, Boots, Currys and Argos are among those to have abandoned this method of payment.

The majority of High Street banks now ask customers whether or not they want a cheque book, when they first open their account, but all are also saying that they have no plans to phase out cheques completely

In terms of the rest of Europe, the use of cheques is only common in a few countries, including France and Italy, whilst some Scandinavian countries have phased them out entirely.

HSBC customers are encouraged to decline a cheque book as part of the bank’s eco-conscious ‘no paper’ account option, and according to the Halifax, cheques will be extinct by 2025.

Age Concern believes that the trend poses a problem for some elderly people who prefer to manage their money by dealing in cash and cheques.

However, this group of citizens is also very security-conscious and may be encouraged to make a change if they believe the chances of fraud are decrease by the use of chip and PIN.

 

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