Richard North, Chairman of the Payments Council Board has confirmed that cheque clearing is to be closed in 2018.Over the next seven years, the board will be working to ensure that suitable alternatives exist for the payments that we currently make using cheques. A rigorous assessment will be made in 2016 to ensure that everything is in place.
The timescale for the process is as follows:
2009 – Decision taken to set a target date to close the cheque clearing.
2010 – Criteria to be used in 2016 to make afinal go/no go decision are set: that alternatives are available; people are aware of them; they are considered acceptable and that they have been adopted.
2011 to 2014 – Identifying and delivering alternatives to cheques.
2014 – Undertaking a major review; identifying the thresholds for the criteria to be used to make a final fo/no go decision.
2016 – Major review of progress against published criteria. Final decision taken on whether to close the cheque clearing.
2018 – Target date to close the cheque clearingRichard North further emphasises in the announcement that businesses will not be left “high and dry” . He promises that ” In 2011, we will go on meeting, talking and listening to organisations of all shapes and sizes who themselves would have to change or who have concerns about the impact of this change on customers. This will help us extend our understanding of what uses are made of cheques and what alternatives will suit best.”
We will, of course, keep a close eye on developments and keep you right up-to-date on how this will affect your business. In the meantime we encourage all businesses to promote payment by BACS.