• 558 million cheques written in 2015 - down by 13% from 644 million in 2014
  • Nearly seven in ten (68%) older people still use cheques
  • 55% of businesses still write cheques

A new industry report - UK Cheques 2016 - published by Payments UK, reveals that the increased popularity of the debit card and electronic methods of payment amongst both consumers and businesses in recent years resulted in fewer cheques being written last year.

Despite this decline, cheques remain a popular way to pay in certain situations, such as when you do not know the account number or sort code of the person you want to pay. They also continue to be an important payment method for some sections of the population – particularly people over 65, with 68 per cent of this demographic group still using them. This is in stark contrast to the payment habits of younger adults though, with 88 per cent of 16-to 34-year-olds now never writing cheques. However, the cheque is still a popular payment method for businesses - more than half of them wrote one last year, with other businesses being the main recipients.

One area in particular where personal cheque use has fallen in recent years is in payments by parents to schools, nurseries and providers of childcare services. Previously cheques were seen by many as the most convenient way to pay for these services. However, in recent years, many local authorities have provided the option for people to make school-related payments through their websites or via an online, third-party payment service.

The annual rate of decline in cheque volumes is expected to slow as their use becomes more concentrated amongst those who have a strong preference for paying by cheque, such as older people, small businesses and those who are less inclined to use online and mobile payment methods.

UK Cheques 2016 is available at a cost of £1,500 – contact paymentspublications@ukfinance.org.uk to purchase a copy.

Payments UK produces a range of publications offering valuable insight, expert commentary and thought leadership on payments. Published throughout the year, they are all available as part of Payments UK’s free resources for members or can be purchased by non-members.

More information is available here: www.paymentsuk.org.uk/industry-information/annual-statistical-publications.

Further information

If you would like further information please contact:

Shane McKenna

Communications and Social Media Officer
T: +44 (0)20 3217 8368
M: +44 (0)74 7103 5905