The called-off cancelation of cheques in the UK some five years ago might come as a surprise to today’s Brits, who now opt for them less than every other payment method.
Research by Mintel shows that chequebooks were used by less than a third of the population in the last three months, significantly down from 40% of Brits who paid with them in 2015.
Combined with the rise of contactless payments (39% of all cash payments), the decline means cheques are now the least used cash payment method, the research firm found.
But while the cheque “looks set to be relegated to the history books,” the firm also pointed out that cards and other contactless ways to pay are not universally accepted as the future.
In particular, more than half of Brits are “not comfortable” about the potential for a completely cashless society, which mobile phones and wearable devices are enablers of.
Rich Shepherd, financial analyst at Mintel said: “People’s payment habits change slowly as can be seen with the cheque’s stubborn refusal to disappear from the payments landscape.”
In 2011, the UK Payments Council said cheques would stay 'for as long as customers need them,' following an outcry by the self-employed and others at the council’s initial recommendation that all cheques should be torn up in 2018.