Research reveals there’s no way back for cheque guarantee card

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Cheque guarantee cards will not be re-introduced, the body which oversees payments said, after finding that the scheme’s closure has had a “minimal impact” on consumers and businesses.

The Payments Council, whose members include Britain’s biggest banks, abandoned the cards in late June due to declining use before reneging on plans to end the use of cheques altogether.

The body has come under pressure to re-introduce the scheme, and had promised to look again at the business case for closure if this was backed up by research into the scale of the impact.

But the independent research found that cheques are broadly continuing to be used as they were before the guarantee scheme closed in June.

The Payments Council is planning a campaign aimed at older people, who tend to use cheques more than other groups, to reassure users that cheques will stay.

It plans to raise awareness of the availability of the ‘chip and signature’ scheme for those who are unable to use a pin, a scheme which the Council said was only currently being used in “small numbers”. It also wants to explore the potential for second cards on current accounts, which it said could particularly help housebound people by allowing limited, delegated payments.

Sandra Quinn, director of communications for the Payments Council, said: “The cheque guarantee card scheme will not be re-introduced.”

She added: “Our approach is we’ve done some research, we’ve looked at the evidence and the evidence supports our conclusion.”

Ms Quinn acknowledged concerns had been raised that “the death of the cheque by a thousand cuts” was being brought about by the removal of the guarantee card, but she said this was “absolutely not” the case.

The Treasury Select Committee published a report into the future of cheques in August.