D-day for cheques: 30th June

The humble cheque has been qiven a stay of execution, but its audible sighs of relief maybe short-lived, as its life-blood on which it depends, the cheque guarantee card, will no longer be offered by banks as of June 30th.

Previously, savvy businesses have accepted cheques because they know that if backed up by the cheque guarantee card the bank will not bounce the cheque and it would be paid in full.

But with this safety net withdrawn, many businesses may well start to turn their nose up at what has been a staple of British life and heritage for decades.

Most major high street retailers already baulk at cheques, and cheque usage has fallen rapidly in the past decade.

Sandra Quinn, Director of Communications for the Payments Council, tried to calm the waters: 'The only thing that’s changing is that from 1 July you will no longer be able to guarantee a cheque using a cheque guarantee card, but it doesn't mean that you can no longer pay by cheque!' she said. 'The use of cheque guarantee cards has been in a steady decline, and many of them were written in situations where the guarantee was void [e.g. if it was sent through the post].'

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