In fact, only 40 per cent of consumers who had used their card to guarantee a cheque in the last twelve months were aware that the scheme had actually closed in June.
A Payments Council survey found that over 80 per cent of businesses poled still accepted cheques from customers without a guarantee card, particularly f they knew them. And only one of the 501 businesses that accepted guarantee cards before the scheme closed said that the closure had had a detrimental effect on its business.
Adrian Kamellard, chief executive of the Payments Council said: "We have committed that cheques are here to stay, so we were pleased that the demise of the guaranteed cheque has had little impact on the way people use cheques, nor has it stopped businesses accepting them.”
The cheque guarantee system meant that cheques up to £50 or £100 were honoured by the bank, as long as the card number was written on the back, even if there were insufficient funds in the account.
The scheme was used predominantly by tradesman for small jobs, guaranteeing them payment by often elderly customers. However, t would appear that knowledge of the customer’s bilty to pay is guarantee enough.
Mr Kamellard added: “It’s particularly reassuring to find that older people have taken the change in their stride, however, our research has highlighted that there is a small minority of customers and businesses who might need extra help – so that will be what we’re focussing on next.”
And Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Treasury Committee, said: “The Payments Council must do more to ensure that banks do not phase out cheques on the quiet."
For more information, please visit www.harwoodhutton.co.uk
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