Saturday, December 15, 2012

Cheques to be phased out by 2018 in UK

I am encouraged by the decision of the Payment Council in the UK to phase out cheque payments by 2018.

The number of cheques processed in the UK declined from 800 million to 350 million over a period of 10 years for a population of 60 million. On average, each person uses 6 cheques a year.

Singapore still process 80 million cheques a year, for a population of 5 million. On average, each person uses
16 cheques a year, or almost 3 times of the UK. Singapore has become quite inefficient over the years.


cd-rom said...

Is there any reason why MAS is holding back on phasing out cheques?

TQC said...

Mr Tan, This is a very old piece of news and is no longer relevant. It is not going to happen. Many pensioners and traders are still strongly opposed to the abolition of the cheque book. Govt and banks are not going to force this through. It is very politically inconvenient if the phase-out is seen to disadvantage the elderly. Banks, with their reputation still in tatters after the crisis, are in no position to argue for the case based on cost-saving. The recent large-scale electronic payment breakdowns in RBS and Nationwide did not help either. I can also be very cynical about the cost-saving point. I am sure the banks can make a bit more profit if it takes longer for money to transfer from one account to another. For example, banks only use cheques to transfer the ISA cash account (a type of capital gain-deferred investment account here) between them.

Lye Khuen Way said...

Certain processes, I have been told are out-dated in Singapore for some time already.
Beside, this Cheque case, opening bank accounts overseas, in places like Sdyney, apparently has less hazzzle, and yes, Mr Tan's oft complaint about telco/internet connection charges as well as that Immigration Card!

Singapore seem to have stopped progressing in the last few years.

There could be good, prudent reasons, but in light of some of the rather rash, tida-apah attitude taken by our Authority on financial products, I can only use that "no government " phrase to describe the situation.

I may have missed the "bigger picture" in my comments, but what good is there, to attract big businesses here, when the nitty-gritty bits are 2nd World class?

Kin Lian Tan said...

It should be possible to find a better way to make payments, instead of cheques.

It is possible that cheques will not be phased out completely, but perhaps 90% can disappear, if some more convenient modes are used.

I have sent the following suggestion to the Minister for Finance.

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