Howard Lake | 26 December 2013 | News Tagged with: cheques Finance HM Treasury Individual giving Law / policy HM Treasury is proposing to extend the life and utility of payment by cheques, still a popular method of giving by many charity donors. Despite the introduction of various methods of digital payments, including those from smartphones, paper-based cheques still remain popular with many.HM Treasury will next year consult on introducing legislation to speed up cheque payments by combining them with smartphone technology. This would mean individuals and businesses could scan and send a photo of the cheque to their bank and expect this to be processed in two days, rather than the current six days that it can take.If the legislation goes ahead, the first payments, and therefore donations, by this method could be made by Christmas 2014.Barclays is the first bank to trial this method of payment: it will test it with a number of customers early in the New Year.No smartphone?Customers without smartphones will be able to use similar technology at cashpoints or in bank branches or continue to pay in paper cheques as they do now.Role of chequesThe Treasury says that nearly £840 billion of cheques were processed last year. Although the number of cheques being used is in decline, this still represents 10% of all payments made by individuals.The cheque is still the most trusted method of sending money through the post: 23 million cheques were sent via the post as gifts last year.Businesses accounted for over 370 million cheque transactions in 2012: 25% of payments made by small businesses were by cheque in 2012. Advertisement Cheques given boost by rapid smartphone deposit proposal 63 total views, 1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Future of chequesFollowing public concern about proposals to phase out payment by cheque in 2018, the Treasury Committee re-opened its enquiry into the future of cheques in 2011. In July that year, the Payments Council announced that it had withdrawn its plans to abolish cheques and confirmed it would maintain the cheque system.Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Sajid Javid, said:We want to see more innovation so that customers see the benefits of new technologies. That is why we’re creating a new payments regulator and why we are going to consult on speeding up the cheque clearing process.We want to take the very best of the current system and make it better. We want to cheques to have a crucial role in the ongoing success of the UK.Adrian Kamellard, the Payments Council Chief Executive commented:It’s clear customers want as much choice as possible and given that customers have made it clear that they want cheques to stay it’s entirely right that the government consults to understand the public’s view on speeding up the clearing of cheques.Graham Fisher, Chief Executive of Toynbee Hall added:Financial Inclusion is about meeting the needs of all the population, from those who prefer more traditional services, to people who embrace technological advancements.We welcome HM Treasury’s announcement today that they are consulting on increasing the means by how people can access money through turning cheques into cash. Having financial inclusive systems for the whole population is vital and this is an important step towards it. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.