Halifax writes off cheques

15 August 2005
Cheques could no longer be in circulation in 20 years time, new research suggests.

According to a study by the Halifax, cheque usage in the UK is lower than ever before and if the number of personal cheques written continues to decline at the current rate they will disappear by 2025.

This trend is reflected by the fact that although 2.1 billion cheques were issued in 2004, this figure is seven per cent lower than for 2003. Approximately 3.7 billion cheques were issued in 1990.

The rising popularity of debit cards and phone and internet payments have been highlighted as two key factors behind the decline of cheques.

Commenting on the research, Peter Jackson, head of banking at the Halifax, said: "The use of personal cheques dropped last year for the tenth year running and customers now prefer quicker and easier payment methods.

"It is very clear that the cheque is no longer the main payment method and based on the current rate of decline they are likely to virtually disappear within the next 20 years. Cash and debit cards are clearly the preferred method of payment in the UK today."

Over 90 per cent of working adults now receive their salary via direct credit to their bank account.

To read more about cheque payments and debit cards, click here.

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