Do Cheques Still Have a Place?

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

Latest research suggests changes in the way we access payments and cash are excluding older people in society who are used to using cheques.

A report by Age UK shows cheques are a particularly important form of payment for older people and should not be phased out, as 73 percent of them use cheques as a means of payment.

A further 63 percent of cheque users of all ages agree that they would find it a problem if they were no longer available.

The report ‘The Way We Pay: Payment Systems and Financial Inclusion’ revealed many older people actually have trouble finding suitable and safe ways to pay.

All other countries reviewed still all have at least one form of paper based system for payment.

Age UK believes there is a risk older people could be pushed into increased dependency on helpers to access cash, pay bills or buy gifts if the cheque is scrapped. It will also mean they will start to keep more cash at home which increases their vulnerability to crime.

“Our research shows that using cheques is still a popular form of payment,” Michelle Mitchell said, Age UK Charity Director.

“We are calling on the Government to recognise payment systems as an essential utility like electricity or water, so that everybody has a safe, accessible and affordable way to pay without relying on cash.”

Almost a third of people over 65 years old use a cheque to pay for services in the home and nearly one in five often use other people to draw cash out for them.

Only 43 percent of this age group said that using a cash machine in the street was their preferred method of drawing cash. While more than one in 10 people of all ages give their PIN to a family member, friend or carer.

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