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The end for cheque guarantee cards

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The cheque guarantee card is to cease to be a part of the trading landscape.

The cards were used to reassure businesses accepting cheques that the payment would be guaranteed.

But the banks will now be withdrawing the system as from 1 July.

There are concerns that the move will inhibit smaller businesses that often rely on cheque payments.

Cheques themselves have been in decline for many years. Two decades ago some 4 billion cheques were written out each year. That figure is now down to just 1.1 billion.

The use of guarantee cards has shrunk by an even greater rate. Of all the cheque transactions last year, a mere 7 per cent (82 million) involved the cards, the Payments Council has said.

While most large retailers have abandoned cheques as a method of accepting payment, many smaller firms still offer customers the chance to pay by cheque.

The Payments Council, however, has pointed out that this doesn’t involve the end of cheques.

Sandra Quinn, Director of Communications for the Payments Council, commented: “The only thing that’s changing is that from 1 July you will no longer be able to guarantee a cheque using a cheque guarantee card, but it doesn’t mean that you can no longer pay by cheque.

“The use of cheque guarantee cards has been in a steady decline, and many of them were written in situations where the guarantee was void, such as sending a cheque through the post.”