Britain's Checks Go Paperless...America to Follow

by Brian Johnson on January 18, 2010

paper-checksThe board of the UK Payments Council, a body composed of England’s top banks, has voted to phase out paper checks by 2018.  With the rise of electronic bill pay, the old tried and true method of paying by check is becoming, not only obsolete, but also expensive.  According to a Reuter’s report, it costs nearly a British pound (roughly $2) to process a check.

We ought to see this as a sign of things to come for the U.S. as well.  Our banks and economy, similar to Britain’s, are moving towards greater streamlining through electronic payments.  People demand the speed and efficiency of electronic and on-line banking.  The paper check has already become obsolete for many purchases (on-line shopping, for instance), and retailers are increasingly refusing to accept personal checks as a means of payment.  Many retailers see checks as an unnecessary invitation to fraud.  Others see it as an unnecessary complication in payment processing relative to the debit card efficiency and speed.

There is some concern, however, as to the effect the loss of paper checks will have on the elderly who haven’t, up until now, utilized electronic methods of payment or bill-pay.  It seems obvious, though, that the innovation of electronic banking has finally reached such a point that older methods have become obsolete and those who are still using paper checks will have to change their purchasing habits.

Luckily, there is time for this change.  Britain isn’t going to phase out paper checks until 2018 and so consumers there will have 8 years to get used to  paying their bills without paper.  In the U.S., the decision to phase out paper checks hasn’t yet been put on the table, though, we expect that with the expense associated with processing paper checks and the current financial crisis, it is only a matter of time.

Discussion

Betsy Ross
There is more threat of identity theft and fraud with electronic banking than paper. And we shouldn't be following Britain on anything, since their bankers are the greediest of all.
February 5 at 14:47 pm
Peter Wolfe
Seriously we aree in the 21st Century where capital streams on a floating currency modle. Duh, paper fors of currency needs to stop in all forms as macro economics needs to teach micro economics a thing or two about future sustainability and fast transactions to help americans compete with more access. The unwarranted feears of technology are largely unfdounded or blown out of proportion. Capital needs to move freely with virtually little to no controls on the flow of money between customer andr
December 13 at 22:52 pm

Relevant Articles

No Similar Posts

Most Popular Topics

Most Popular Articles

Subscribe

Receive the latest advice and deals:

Wallet Hub Facebook Twitter Google Plus

Submit A Post

Want to be a guest blogger? Submit a Post