The demise of the humble cheque seems only to be a matter of time, but don't go ripping up your cheque book just yet, as the Payments Council claims that it won't happen until an alternative, paper-based payment system is put in place.
Richard North, chairman of the council, said that no decision had been taken to abolish cheques, and one would probably not be made until 2016 at the earliest.
In a hearing of the Treasury Select Committee, Mr North said: 'We have not made a decision to close the cheque clearing system. The first time we will look at doing this is in 2016." He added: 'There is no question of there being a closure of the cheque clearing system without there being alternatives in place which are widely in use.'
The use of cheques has declined 42 percent in the last five years. Alternative systems could be a mobile phone based payment, where people can transfer money just by knowing their number. Or a paper-based system similar to cheques, but more efficient and quickly processed.
Time will tell on this one.