Sunday, December 16, 2012

Singapore is using too many cheques

According  to this report, (, the United Kingdom processed 350 million cheques for a population of 60 million, or an average of 6 cheques per person. The number of cheques used in the UK declined by more than 50% over the past 10 years.

Singapore processes 78 million cheques a year, or an average of 16 cheques per person based on a population of 5 million. The usage of cheques in Singapore is 2 1/2 times of the UK. This shows the level of inefficiency that is found in Singapore.

I do not not if the usage of cheques in Singapore has declined during the past ten years. I suspect thta it has not.

There is a plan in the UK to phase out the use of cheques entirely by 2018, recognising that this form of payment is the most expensive to handle. It is time for Singapore to set a similar goal.


Kin Lian Tan said...

The number of cheques used in the Uk declined by 50% over the past 10 years.

I now got the answer for the trend in Singapore. It increased by 70% ! Something is seriously wrong in Singapore.

Here is an extract from the report:

2.2.4 Cheques
The number of cheques cleared by the SACH increased by more than 70% from 1989 to 1999. This
can be attributed to the increased economic activity in Singapore in that period.
In 2000, 91 million cheques for a total value of SGD 453 billion were processed by the SACH.

freemanland said...

I do not agree that "something is seriously wrong", when the percentage is increased by 70%.

We should fist look at "what is wrong" first, then we access the situation and finally call it "seriously wrong".

rex said...

rex comments as follows,

i think the data is useless. it said that the 70% is from 1989 to 1999. Please remember internet usage really got popularised starting around 2005. In 1999, very very few people had internet and ATM's usage was rather primitive. It is not fair to use the statistic of 70% in this discussion.

However apart from the above, i absolutely agree that cheques usage should be decreased. Except maybe for making a down payment to buy a car or a house. In such case it is good for self-protection to be able to write a cheque.


Kin Lian Tan said...

Rex, thanks for pointing out the period from 1989 to 1999. I agree with your views. (I observed it after posting my earlier comment, but did not take the time to remove it).
I am now searching for a later figure, to see if the number of cheques have reduced over the past 10 years (to compare with the reduction of 50% in the UK).

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