You may have read recent press reports about proposals to abolish cheques by 2018. Many charities are concerned that such a move could be detrimental to their fundraising activities - indeed a recent report indicates that cheques are the most commonly suggested way of making one-off gifts to charities (the Tick Box Report 2011). The Treasury Select Committee reopened its inquiry on the proposals to abolish cheques and has sought evidence on various areas including the advantages and disadvantages of abolition.

At the same time, the Payments Council is also looking at ways to encourage the use of debit cards, internet, and telephone banking which may offer greater efficiency and security than cheques. Alternative methods would also overcome the lack of certainty over when funds become available.

Several charities have submitted their opinions making it clear that cheques should not be abolished until viable alternatives are found. Regardless of the outcome, charities will need to make plans for whatever alternatives are to be put in place in order to minimise the potential loss of donations.