The UK Payment Council has been keeping itself busy pondering how to minimise the effects of the loss of the humble cheque, and they’re planning a revolutionary replacement; a “paper-based” alternative.
Since it was announced that cheques would be phased out by 2018 (with a review into how it was all going in 2016), there have been certain groups expressing concern at their disappearance; old people, small businesses and charities in particular have kicked up a fuss, as they tend to use or rely on cheques more than the rest of the population.
So the Payment Council, which is overseeing the phase-out of cheques and is trying to ensure everyone is kept happy is said to be looking at various alternatives:
Among the possible alternatives that are being explored are a new paper voucher system for those who still want a non-electronic method making a payment.
Hang on? Why bother replacing cheques with something very similar?
Why not promote the use of technology amongst these groups instead? Charities and small businesses should especially be open to using new technology, and with smartphones and tablets getting ever cheaper, and new innovations along the lines of Square coming out over the next few years, cheques could (and probably should) be a distant memory by 2018.
Thankfully, the Payment Council isn’t completely backwards:
And new electronic methods, such as using mobile phones to send money by text message, or using mobile phones as debit card readers, are also being looked at.
Phew! For a moment there it looked like they were completely wasting their time.
photo credit: HowardLake