After a year-long review the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) has announced that while the humble cheque will be allowed to remain for now, it will not be around for many more years.
The review found that use of the cheque, which has been in around in various forms for over 1000 years, has fallen dramatically since the introduction of Eftpos, credit cards, internet banking and online payment systems (such as Paypal).
Only 25 per cent of Australians still use cheques, and only five per cent of people surveyed believe that they would struggle to find an alternative. In 1995 banks were processing 3.9 million cheques per month. Now 1.1 million cheques are processed each month.
The smaller number of cheques being processed means that the cost of processing each cheque has risen. A Reserve Bank study has found that currently each cheque costs $7.69 to process, where a credit card transaction costs $1.21, and Eftpos and cash transactions cost less than half a cent.
Have your say
Find out why cheque users might be charged fees, and tell us what you think on Rachel’s blog post Fined for using cheques.