The end of Cheques? - Treasury Contents

Written evidence submitted by the Association of Cash Machine Operators

  I am writing in my capacity as Chairman of the Payments Council Cheque Replacement Steering Group, Chairman of the Association of Cash Machine Operators, and Managing Director of Bank Machine Ltd in response to the aforementioned inquiry launched by your committee. Given these roles and my position within the payments industry, I would be pleased to give oral evidence to the committee.

  It is evident that the use of cheques has been steadily declining over the last decade with the trend only forecast to continue. A gradual phasing out of cheques will create a more efficient payment market to support the UK economy. However, there will remain a significant group of organisations and individuals for whom cheques remain a vital, and preferred, method of payment. It is essential that the interests of current cheque users are taken into account between now and the gradual phasing out that is planned.

  Part of the Cheque Replacement Steering Group's role is to sponsor an education process so that current users of cheques are made aware of other payment options. Many alternative payment options exist already but new replacements for cheques must be found for those users who cannot reasonably be expected to use existing alternatives. The Group will be active in encouraging replacements for cheques if they prove to be required to meet user needs.

  I am acutely aware that there are potentially millions of people who currently depend on cheques and have confidence in them as a means of payment. The challenge is to ensure that replacements are created to meet the concerns of these people. I am confident the Group will achieve this goal and would be happy to expand on these issues before the committee.

February 2010

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