Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cheque this out!

I see they're phasing out cheques.

About bloody time.

When was the last time you wrote a cheque in a shop? Fair enough, you might write them for bills but now you can do most things online or by direct debit, they're more or less obsolete.

I remember as a student with my first chequebook, writing cheques in shops for sweets for about 90p. But if you didn't get to the bank that day and you'd gone over your cashpoint limit (mine was £25 for the week!), then that was your only option. Who remembers waiting in endless lines at checkouts while someone wrote out a cheque, then filled in the stub if they were a real spod who actually balanced their chequebook then they'd write it in that little table at the front. Meanwhile, everyone's tutting loudly. As the Switch advertising said at the time 'no one likes you'.

I was hopeless with money. I was constantly overdrawn but just spend anyway, and cheques were a good way to do that. By the time they'd hit the account you already had your goods. I had my chequebook and all cards taken away on several occasions, so had to go into the bank who'd charge me a fiver to call my branch and authorise a withdrawal of £20. I'd be beside myself with nerves should it be refused, which it often was. I only really got good with money when I had more of it, and that was only about 10 years ago. I have learnt many lessons, grasshopper.

Debit's far easier. At least you know that it's instant. Writing cheques that took three days to clear gave you a false picture of your bank account. So you've got eight years to write cheques and that's that, but I imagine we'll have stopped doing that long before 2018 comes around.


Bright Ambassador said...

I've written, and received, a ton of cheques just lately.

I think they should wait for all the old people to die before phasing out cheques.

Cocktails said...

You are completely and utterly wrong. I use cheques all the time - to pay people, to collect contributions in voluntary organisations and sometimes just to piss people off (e.g. when the 'alternative' is setting up a direct debit). They can be a lot more practical than the card payment system (a small organisation is hardly going to get a handheld credit card reader to collect instant donations) and most people do have access to them.

Cheques have also got a nice sense of implied trust about them which I like. But then again, I am clearly old fashioned F-C.

Chris Hughes said...

I vividly remember writing my first ever cheque, for my halls of residence accommodation at university. I just could not believe I was writing a cheque for that amount of money.

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Ishouldbeworking said...

Most of my patients still pay me by cheque, and I'm fine with that. Most other sole traders and small businesses I know still rely on them. I hate the thought of handing over a card terminal to people at the end of psychotherapy sessions - not to mention the fact that they are eye-wateringly expensive to buy (yes, you have to buy them.).

Anonymous said...

Think of all the crap wedding gifts people are going to get in the future when people can;t send cheques any more.

Mondo said...

I wrote one last night when my birthday chinese arrived - it's mainly take aways we use them for.

Mondo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Five-Centres said...

You're all far more cheque-savvy than me then. I'm not sure I can remember the last time I wrote one.

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