In Sydney in early June, we launched our consultation on the future of cheques. Our proposition is simple: based on long-term trends, cheques are steadily disappearing from the Australian community. That means problems down the track for those who rely on them, as they increasingly find their payment counterparties don’t want to use or accept a cheque, even if they do. This consultation is not about cheque clearing at all: it’s about making sure people have what they need.
In the same week, on the other side of the world, the House of Lords in London began an acrimonious debate on the same issue: the future of cheques in the UK. The UK Payments Council has had closure of the paper clearing system on the agenda for several years, but they have not been able to win community support for the need to change.