The use of checks is declining, but we still wrote 19 million of them last year

Thousands of consumers and businesses continue to write checks, making it harder for banks to force us to transition to a cashless society.

New figures from the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) show the number of checks issued has fallen to its lowest level since the banking representative group started recording consumer payment transactions.

According to figures, however, 4.5 million checks were still written in the July-September period.

Despite advances in electronic banking, 19 million checks were written last year.

It’s one of the most expensive ways to pay, as the Treasury charges 50 cents stamp duty on every check issued.

Such a heavy reliance on checks means the odds of Ireland becoming a cashless society are remote.

Banks are trying desperately to discourage people from using checks and encourage them to use electronic banking. It costs 39c to deposit a check to an AIB account. If an invoice is paid by cheque, there will be an additional cost as a standard stamp now costs €1.25.

The use of checks means that bank branches are still needed, experts say. Ireland has one of the highest check utilization rates in the Eurozone.

BPFI figures show check volume has fallen to the lowest quarterly level since the series began in 2008.

Check payments were down 7.3 percent year over year, but there were still 4.5 million check payments in the third quarter of this year.

Figures from the banking lobby group show that 19.2 million checks were written in the year to September.

Despite the high usage of checks, people continue to use their contactless cards in greater numbers for typing and paying.

Contactless payments worth nearly €4.8 billion were made in the three months to September.

BPFI’s Gillian Byrne said the figures showed online and mobile banking payments hit record highs and check volume fell to an all-time low.

The value of contactless payments increased by 26 percent year-on-year to almost 4.8 billion euros. This accounts for €52 million per day spent by people tapping and paying with their contactless cards. This was the highest single-quarter spend on contactless payments since the data series began.

https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/banking/use-of-cheques-falls-but-we-still-wrote-19-million-of-them-last-year-42214851.html The use of checks is declining, but we still wrote 19 million of them last year

Fry Electronics Team

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