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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Great Britain gets rid of checks

It was inevitable. The check is on its way out.

"The board of the UK Payments Council, the body for setting payment strategy in Britain, agreed on Wednesday to set a target date of October 31, 2018 for winding up the check clearing system. The board is largely made up of Britain's leading banks.
The use of checks has fallen drastically in the past 10 years as more consumers transfer money electronically...It costs about one pound to process every check."
I write few checks these days. Electronic bill pay, direct deposit, and credit cards have pretty much replaced them for me. My current checks still say "Bank One" on them, although Chase became the name of the bank over five years ago. I still have plenty of checks left, too.

Did anyone like checks? Merchants don't pay credit card fees on them (good) but instead suffer bad check losses (bad). It's difficult to use a check to pay for anything in a store these days -- I hear the percentage of checks which are fraudulent is much higher now, since so few honest people use checks.

Getting a check from someone is one step up from getting a gift card, but still requires an actual trip to a bank or an ATM that accepts deposits.

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