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Dublin: 14°C Wednesday 28 July 2021

Cheque's in the post? Not from the Government it's not*

Well, from next September.

Cheque book and pen
Cheque book and pen
Image: Bubu45 via Shutterstock

DEPARTMENTS OF THE Government, Local Authorities and State agencies will stop using cheques from 19 September next year.

Minister of State Brian Hayes made the announcement today, and called the day of Ireland’s changeover “e-Day”.

The Government is giving the public and businesses a full year’s notice, hoping to allow public bodies and affected businesses make the transition to electronic payments more smoothly.

Hayes said that the particular focus of e-Day is to encourage SMEs to migrate from cheque usage. SMEs are either issuers or receivers of more than 60 per cent of all cheques in Ireland.

A shift from cheques to electronic as a preferred method of payment will “result in reduced costs and improved cash-flow for the overall business sector” says Hayes.

Cash will remain a widely used method of payment, while cheques continue to be available for those consumers who want to use them.

The cheque reduction initiative is part of the National Payments Plan which was approved by government in April 2013.

Hayes emphasised that the plan is about efficiency.

“This Plan is not about closing down options for consumers and businesses, but expanding them. Its vision is for a society where modern forms of payment will be universally accepted, and be the preferred payment choice for most.”

Ireland is one of only a few EU states that still issues cheques from government bodies. Despite a shift away from cheques, more than 84 million were issued in a year across the country.

Read: Irish people still love using cheques, says Central Bank

Read: Could Ireland ever become a totally cash-free country?

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