Knowsley Older People's Voice

End of Cheques?

The earliest known handwritten cheque dates from 1659

Plans by the UK Payments Council to end the use of cheques in the UK by 2018 have now been dropped. The decision was announced in July 2011 due to a lack of viable alternatives and pressure from small businesses, viagra generic charities, medical and pressure groups, and is great news for the three quarters of people aged over 65 who still regularly use them.


However, the UK Payments Council has ruled that there will be no return of the Cheque Guarantee Card System which ended in June 2011. This system, which guaranteed personal cheques up to £50 or £100, was largely integral to the acceptance of personal cheques by businesses, and many believe that without it cheques will not be accepted leading ultimately to the ending of the 350 yr old system.

In the absence of cheques, many older people who are untrusting of credit and debit cards and the associated PIN’s will be left without a secure, convenient and affordable method of paying for things. This may lead to an increased independence on cash leaving them vulnerable to crime and unsafe practices.

Age UK has produce a report called ‘The Way We Pay’ to explore the essential payment mechanisms and banking services to which an individual must have access in order to be financially included. It set out to learn from other countries and from other industries. Although the project originated from the challenge of cheque withdrawal for older people, this report is not just about cheques or age, but about how individuals actually use the payment services currently available to them.

The Way We Pay Research Report (zip folder)

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