The best business advice, opinion, news and expertise in Greater Manchester and further afield.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Member Blog: Should Banks Remove Their Headphone Jack?

By Nizam Yusuf, Senior Content Creative and Social Media Manager, AccessPay

Just like Apple has brushed the headphone jack under the carpet in its latest iPhone 7 release, should banks look to eliminate old-fashioned cheques from their dusty shelves?

In 2008, when the CD drive-less MacBook Air was pulled out of a brown paper envelope, Steve Jobs accurately predicted that software delivered over the internet would soon replace the faithful disc.

In the same style, when Phil Schiller, Apple’s Marketing Chief, took to the stage in San Francisco for the iPhone 7 release, he described the 3.5mm headphone jack as a 19th century component that was standing in the way of 21st century technology.

So here’s a question for you:

Should banks eliminate Cheques as a payments service?

They nearly did…

In 2009, UK Payments Council set a target date of 31st October 2018 for the closure of the central cheque clearing system, which would have effectively abolished payments by cheque.

However, in 2011, following a public outcry and intervention by MPs and ministers, the plan was abandoned – with the UK Payments Council announcing on 12 July 2011 that cheques would continue “for as long as customers need them”.

Okay so they’re here to stay – but for how long?

Appealing to people with traditional payment preferences, cheques continue to be used as a form of payment – with over 500m cheques written in 2015. While this figure seems astronomical, the use of cheque payments decreased by 13% in 2015.

To bring cheques into the 21st century, some banks, such as Barclays have introduced a cheque imaging service, which allows people to pay in by taking a photo of the cheque on their smartphone.

Is “Cheque Imaging” satisfying a stopgap?

Did You Know? Following the passing of The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill on 26th March 2015, all banks will be expected to process cheques as images from October 2017.

Just as the Apple Lightning to Headphone Jack Adapter is filling a much needed gap for those reluctant to let go of their headphones, it seems like Cheque Imaging will fill this opening in the banking industry until such a point that cheques are no longer deemed a viable method of payment.

Tell us what you think?

We would like to know your opinions on Cheques and their place in the UK Payments sector. Complete this short survey and enter your details at the end to download a FREE comprehensive Beginners Guide to Payments – Tell us what you think?


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  3. should banks look to eliminate old-fashioned cheques from their dusty shelves? I personally think no like shared at too. They nearly have eliminated it, yet I don't want it to happen

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