Are business cheques a thing of the past?

Posted: Wednesday, 22 July 2009 @ 16:56

Yes, according to new research published today by Creditsafe.

They say that 33% of British firms are planning to stop using cheques to pay other businesses within the next 12 months, and that 11% are planning to stop accepting cheques altogether!

Instead, they plan to rely on direct bank transfers (such as BACS) and debit and credit card payments. Reasons given were that these were more traceable, more efficient and reduced the need for manual processing.

They estimate that the savings to the British SME sector of not handling cheques could be as much as £788 million. This would be through less time being spent on processing cheques and less time spent in accounting and bookkeeping.

Whilst I agree wholeheartedly that electronic means of payment are more efficient, less time consuming and much better as far as an audit trail is concerned, I can’t see SMEs refusing to accept cheques at all in the near future. Whilst this might be an option for large utility firms, in the current economic climate, it would be madness for an SME to refuse to accept a customer’s cheque. There are also the charges of operating merchant accounts to be taken into account.

What do you think?

Gary Cousins
Business Solicitor

Blog by Gary Cousins
Gary has been providing legal advice to shareholders, directors and business owners for over 25 years. Specialising in dispute resolution Gary is based in Birmingham with clients throughout the UK and overseas. View profile
Call Gary on +44 (0)121 778 3212 or by email
This blog is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor is it intended to be a complete and authoritative statement of the law, and what we say might be out of date by the time you read it. You should always seek legal advice to confirm whether or how any information in this article applies to your particular situation. We offer a free telephone consultation to discuss your particular circumstances.

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Thank you. Your response is great, very straight to the point! Hopefully this will bring an end to the matter. I will certainly be recommending your services as I am very impressed with the prompt dealing of this matter.
Janet Burbidge

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