Belfast Telegraph

Humble cheque yet to get its walking papers

By David Elliot

The last time I wrote a cheque (to pay a motor-related fine, since you ask) it took me three attempts before I managed to fill it in properly.

I tell you this not to expose the shocking lack of familiarity I seem to have developed with the pen after years spent at a keyboard, but to allay fears out there for those of you who still use the papery devils to pay your bills.

You technological boffins will scoff at the idea that anyone should need to use a cheque in this age of Paypal, debit cards and online bank accounts but the fact is there are thousands of people - particularly older people and those in the agricultural sector - whose only options are to pay by cheque.

For those of you who fall into these categories the news from the Payments Council will be music to your ears. It has said cheques won't be abolished until an alternative paper-based system has been set up to replace them and a decision won't be made until 2016 at the earliest.

The independent chairman of the council even gave the Payments Council a gentle slap on the wrist for the way it delivered its plan to abolish cheques.

Anyway, the panic's over for now so ink up your quills and pay you bills in celebration.