A Government cheque has been consigned to history at the National Museum of Ireland two weeks ahead of e-Day – the date on which Government departments and offices, local authorities and State agencies stop using cheques in their dealings with businesses.
The Small Firms Association (SFA) is supporting e-Day, which was announced a year ago and will take effect on 19 September 2014.
SFA director Patricia Callan said: “The elimination of cheques and move to best international payments practices could save Ireland €1bn. Every cheque written costs €3.55 to society, which includes a 50 cent stamp duty charge, bank charges, postal charges; the printing, administration, transportation, lodgement and clearing of the cheque.
“Cheques are a critical factor in Ireland’s late payment culture – businesses in countries in which cheques remain widespread take on average one month longer to get paid.”
Callan added: “Whilst much progress has been made in cheque reduction with usage halving since 2005, still 61 million cheques are written each year. A recent Central Bank of Ireland report shows that 80pc of all business cheques are issued by SMEs, while 78pc are received by SMEs. A move away from cheque usage to e-payment would benefit day-to-day cash flow which is a critical factor in small business success.”
A nationwide campaign has also kicked off entitled ‘Join the evolution’ that calls on consumers and businesses to reduce their use of cheque and cash payments and embrace card and e-payments instead.
It is part of the National Payments Plan that aims to bring Ireland up to par with the most efficient payment systems in Europe.
Source: Business & Leadership
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