Employee Stir At A British Firm Reignites Old Debate About Usability Of Cheques

Following a pay dispute in a firm that has been engaged in printing cheques for more than 100 tears has rekindled the debate about the future of cheques.

The supply of cheques to High Street banks in the UK might have been because of the industrial; action by some 79 members of the Unite union at Communisis in Crewe, said the members.

Scheduled strikes for the current week have been postponed as the members are expecting a fresh offer from the company.

But this also started a debate about the use and future of cheques.

At the peak of the usage of cheques in the UK in 1990, about four billion transactions a year was done with the help of it.

But that popularity has dropped significantly and last year banks processed about 405 million cheques.

There was a discussion in the payments industry some years ago where cheques were being considered to be phased out by 2018 which had put its future in doubt in the UK. But the firms were forced to change their plans following arguments by some politicians that cheques was the only alternative for the elderly.

During the news of a possible delay in some recieving their cheque books because of the stir at Crewe, there were some who raised questioned about when was the last time one used a cheque.

While there are some parents who still write cheques for school trips, cheques are also asked for by some small traders – such as window cleaners. The tax refunds from the government still are made through cheques.

Btu the debate for and against continuance of the use of cheques was developed by the BBC in the views that were sent to its Business Live page.

The news house put out what some of the participants in the debate though about the issue.

Mark Greenman says: “I am the director of Wales International Freight and we still pay all our suppliers by cheque. The reason for this is I have total control of the payments and avoid any computer error or more importantly fraudulent activity.”

Financial adviser James Wyman says: “Many of my clients will hand over a cheque to make contributions into pensions, investment accounts, or ISAs as it can be done in a single transaction, whereas daily limits on payments via internet banking mean they have to log in and make a series of payments.

But according to Michael Ryder: “Last summer I took over the running of a small charity that used cheques for all of its transactions. About 300 cheques a year, all of them dual-authorised, had to be posted around the country to collect signatures before being dispatched to the payee.

But that has not deterred some firms to continue to innovate the usage of the centuries-old payment method.

There are a number of banks that allows its customers to make payments in cheques by first taking a photo of the cheque on their smartphones and then submitting it on a secure smartphone app.

A new UK-wide system, allowing banks to clear cheques from customers of different banks, is set to be in place by the end of the year

(Adapted form BBC.com)


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