The end of Cheques? - Treasury Contents

Written evidence submitted by Tyneside Consumers' Group

  Tyneside Consumers' Group (TCG) is a grass-roots consumer organisation based in the North East of England. It aims to represent the views of ordinary consumers. It has no political affiliations.

  TCG is concerned that the Board of the UK Payments Council has announced that cheques will be phased out by October 2018 without clear alternative payment mechanisms having been developed.

  TCG feels that small voluntary groups will be disadvantaged by abolition in a number of ways:

    — 15% of our members continue to pay subscriptions by cheque as they do not wish to use the standing order facility—these are members we may lose.

    — All the group's bills are currently paid by cheque. These include reimbursement of committee members' expenses, payments to typist etc. Payments are often sent by post. It would be impractical and inconvenient to use existing methods of payment.

  TCG members regularly use cheques for the following:

    — Gifts to friends and relatives which are sent by post—they may not have information about the recipient to enable an electronic transfer to be used.

    — Other payments by post—consumers may be reluctant to pay online particularly in the light of concerns about on line fraud.

    — Payments to small societies eg for outings or special events—such societies do not wish to handle cash.

    — Payments to small businesses who do not have the facility to accept debit cards. This seems to arise regularly in the case of chiropodists etc who visit consumers in their own homes. Elderly consumers do not wish and should not be encouraged to keep cash in their homes.

    — Donations to charities—this is an easy method and it is felt that charities would suffer if it was not available as a payment method.

February 2010

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