UK to Scrap Paper Checks in 2018

Opponents argue that infirm, elderly will be disadvantaged
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2009 12:51 PM CST
A man holds a "cheque" in England.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The UK plans to phase out the paper check in 2018. Officials say they'll use the next 8 years to push for innovation in payments in the country, especially electronic methods. There is robust opposition to the plan, the Telegraph reports, but the Payment Council—a semi-governmental UK entity made up of banking industry leaders and independent overseers—has pledged to “ensure that everyone has a viable alternative.”

Advocates for the elderly are particularly concerned, as many rely on checks and are unfamiliar with online banking. “Without checks, we are very concerned people will be forced to keep large amounts of cash in their home, leaving them vulnerable to theft and financial abuse,” says one group. The council points out that physical checking has seen a steep decline in the UK, down 40% in the last 5 years alone.

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