Consumer group Which? has said it is against the abolition of cheques, arguing that for many people they are still an important way to make payments.
The Payments Council has already decided to end the cheque guarantee scheme in 2011 and will shortly meet to discuss withdrawing cheques altogether.
However, Which? money editor James Daley commented: “For some people it’s the only way they feel comfortable paying tradesmen, sometimes the only way they can pay tradesmen.”
He added that the devices are also useful for postal payments and clubs and societies.
Pointing to the fact that a survey by the body had found 92 per cent of respondents had written a cheque in the past year, he stated that Which? will not support their withdrawal until “some cheap, safe alternatives” have been installed.
The decision by the Payments Council was announced on September 25th and will take effect from June 30th 2011.
It noted that the move came in response to the fact that the use of cheques is “in terminal decline”.