Cheque & Credit Clearing Company

PRESS RELEASE

CHEQUE & CREDIT CLEARING COMPANY

Cheques still popular as a payment option – almost 1.5 million of them written every day

  • New market research shows that 50 per cent of us still write cheques
  • More than half a billion personal cheques written last year
  • Full research available on new website at www.chequeandcredit.co.uk

Market research commissioned by the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company (C&CCC) has found that the proportion of people in the UK who write cheques fell from 60 per cent to 50 per cent between 2007 and 2012. However, for this group of people the cheque continues to be an important payment option – with the result that more than half a billion personal cheques were written last year.

The drop in the number of people writing cheques has contributed though to a fall in the number of cheques being written. Data collated by C&CCC shows that since 2005 the total number of cheques written by consumers has fallen by more than a half – from 1.13 billion in 2005 to 545 million last year. However, with personal customers writing almost 1.5 million cheques every day in 2011, continuing to give people the choice to pay this way is at the heart of the banks’ commitment to retain cheques for as long as their customers need them.

The new research also revealed the top three scenarios where cheques are most commonly written:

  • to pay a bill by post (32 per cent of people who wrote a cheque last year did this);
  • to pay for a service in the home, such as a plumber (20 per cent); and
  • to pay a club or society (14 per cent).

Only two per cent of our spending at shops was made by cheque last year, compared to 72 per cent of our retail purchases in 2011 being paid for by debit and credit card.

Angela Thomas, Managing Director of the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company, said:

“Although usage is declining it seems that cheques still have their place in today’s society. Whether we are using them to pay bills by post, pay the window cleaner or to pay for a child’s school trip, the fact that we write one-and-a-half million of them every day shows they are still popular. And even though there are convenient payment alternatives available for most of these situations, some people still seem to prefer the habit of reaching for their chequebook and pen.”