Cheques given out as gifts on Christmas

Posted on December 31st, 2010 | Categories - News

Millions of people gave friends and family a cheque for Christmas.

Many cheque gifts were given out this year during the holiday season.

Cheques have been given as gifts by over 7 million Britons this Christmas, according to research by Which?

Half of the UK population has written a cheque in the last month, which equates to about 24 million people – just under 40 million people have written a cheque in the last year.

The survey found that one in five people had sent a cheque as a gift to a friend or relative and one in eight paid for school costs, like meals and trips, by cheque. Two fifths of Britons used a cheque to pay a supplier or tradesman.

The poll also highlighted that participants said they would be most comfortable using internet banking, cash and direct debit once cheques are phased out as a viable payment method in 2018.

However, the government has announced that the traditional paper based option will not be abolished until an alternative is found.

Nevertheless, the research outlined that people are far less comfortable with using new emerging methods like pre-pay cards, mobile phone banking, and ‘wave and pay’ contactless cards as alternatives.

Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith said: “Cheques may be in decline but millions of us still use them every year, whether it’s to pay for tradesmen, for a school trip or as gifts to loved ones. Banks must ensure sure that alternative payment methods that all consumers are comfortable with are in place before cheques are consigned to the scrapheap”.