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Cheques 'a thing of the past by 2020'

17 September 2003
Cheques are likely to be consigned to history by 2020, according to new research.

With usage currently falling at a rate of around eight per cent a year and the trend expected to accelerate, writing cheques could be obsolete in the near future, a study by Halifax Extras Current Account suggests.

Nearly half of people say they use cheques less frequently than they did three years ago, with 14 per cent claiming they never use them.

One third of current account holders also said they would use cheques less during the next three years.
In total 66 per cent of 1,000 people surveyed said they thought that cheques would be phased out eventually.

Recent figures from payment services group APACS also showed that cheques were the only form of payment that has fallen during the past 10 years.

By 2000 non-cheque transactions outnumbered those made by cheques by four to one.

Nearly 12 million cheques are written every day, but plastic card payments now outnumber cheques two to one.

Halifax predicts that, if the current trend continues, the number of payments made by cheque looks set to fall to 1.5 billion a year within the next five years.