Changing times push cheques out

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The use of cheques has been declining by 30% annually and during Level 5 lockdown volumes decreased by 80% as customers adapted to digital platforms.

From 1 January 2021, individual consumers and businesses are no longer able to cash cheques in South Africa.

Major banking institution, FNB, issued its last cheque book in September 2020 with overall cheque payments in South Africa contributing less than 0.1% of the total ecosystem in the country. FNB Chief Executive, Jacques Celliers, expressed the end of cheques was a historic moment.

“Cheques have been one of the most treasured payment methods by some customers and symbolised a different era of innovation. As a result, their necessary discontinuation is a nostalgic moment for us and our customers, however, we believe the future of payments is even more exciting for all of us,” he said.

“We issued our last cheque book in September this year but the journey to migrate our customers to safer and efficient digital payments methods has been running for years. As a platform bank, we’re availing a significant amount of resources and support to ensure that customers have a range of efficient payment alternatives.”

According to the chief executive, cheques have been discontinued for several reasons, including fraud perpetrated through the issuing of cheques as well as cheques being an expensive payment instrument, among other factors.

Nomaqhawe Mtebele

nomaqhawe@mahareng.co.za