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An alternative to cheques

It’s great to see that HM Treasury has published clear information about the phasing out of the cheque clearing system. As a small business owner, simple, alternative cashless payment methods are vitally important. For some time, I’ve been looking at possible alternatives. There are certainly developing technologies combined with current and future generations of smart phones, which make it possible to take card swipes; though there is a not inconsiderable handling charge associated with this. The online payment service PayPal has also made great strides in moving it’s service to mobile devices with applications available for all of the major platforms. The ability to “bump” pay is a very exciting development, but it requires both payee and payer to have compatible phones and online PayPal accounts. Many of my customers are elderly and are certainly not tech-savvy enough to embrace these methods as an alternative to paying by cash or cheque. Hopefully the reasonably generous transition period announced by HM Treasury will be sufficient for all of the developing technologies to mature to the point where they are more mainstream. This does not of course, account for the banks independently refusing to process cheques within a much shorter time frame. I’ll be following this with great interest.

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/cheque_closure_faq.htm

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