Cheques

May 18th, 2012 at 10:57 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Slipped a cheque in the mail lately? Or left one on the back porch for the lawnmower man?

The stereotype of a cheque user is elderly and a little distrustful of the digital world.

But a study on how best to nurse cheques through their last few, terminal years has found that is not necessarily true.

Bank-owned payments regulator Payments NZ is working on a project to help its bank owners through the phasing-out process.

The results will not be public until later this year, but early hints confound some of the more common stereotypes.

The vast majority – about 90 per cent – of cheque users also use electronic banking, says Payments NZ chief executive Steve Nichols.

Only a small proportion is wholly reliant on cheques.

Most users write a mere five to seven cheques a year, suggesting they do most of their transacting by other means.

I do not think I have done a cheque for some years. I will even ring people and ask for bank account numbers than do a cheque. Thi is partly because I rarely go to the post office also, so dislike having to post things.

But more to the point Internet Banking means your bank records show who you paid and why. Cheques do not. Maybe a feature for to consider is the ability to electronically edit or tag transaction lines, so if you do write a cheque you can have recorded in your bank records who it was to, and why.

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28 Responses to “Cheques”

  1. George Patton (349 comments) says:

    I don’t recall writing a cheque in 5-7 years or so? Just so strange now, like listening to a cassette tape. Just looks too hard

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  2. NOt1tocommentoften (433 comments) says:

    I once asked a former colleague who the hell still uses cheques – he answered “Me” and pointed out that as a father of school aged children who were constantly after money at the last minute (“Dad, I need $40 for a class trip and it’s due today”), he said a cheque book has saved him many times over.

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  3. anonymouse (716 comments) says:

    You can ONLY pay a tenancy bond to The department of Building and Housing via a cheque…

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  4. meh (165 comments) says:

    Those damned 1%ers with all their investment properties use them, because DBH only accept bond lodgements via cheque

    (this has annoyed me greatly recently, can’t even bloody direct deposit, we’re in 2012 FFS!)

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  5. peterwn (3,273 comments) says:

    Non profit organisations continue to be a big user of cheques because of the requirement for two signatures, and yet traditionally have been spared bank fees. Some years ago BNZ offered electronic banking for businesses with ‘dual’ authorisation facilities. However BNZ wanted full ‘commercial’ fees for the use of this facility by a non-profit I was treasurer of – I said ‘no thanks’. A horrid wasted opportunity on BNZ’s part.

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  6. Doug (410 comments) says:

    But more to the point Internet Banking means your bank records show who you paid and why. Cheques do not, Megastuff Limited Write Cheques.

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  7. Seán (397 comments) says:

    What is a “cheque”?

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  8. KH (695 comments) says:

    I write very few cheques (25 a year say) for quite a large turnover. You do need it as an available occassional option. But think I will still have a chequebook for a while yet.
    Personal stuff. I have gone away from electronic and back to cash. A nice wad of cash is quite efficient when ordering the coffee etc and for most of the expenditure you do walking about.
    Electronic is just not useful for that. It’s actually quite clunky.

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  9. djg (72 comments) says:

    Cheques provide far greater security in NZ than electronic banking.

    If an electronic payment goes to the wrong account, either by mistake or through fraud, you cannot recall it. If a cheque is processed to the wrong account the bank will stop it, if it is a mistake on the banks behalf, say the name of the account holder does not match the name of the payee, they will suffer the loss, unlike an electronic transaction, the bank does not match the name stated as the payee, you have absolved the bank of responsibility when you sign up to their software.

    Most fraud in NZ is currently carried out using electronic banking, if the banks wanted to stop it they could, they choose not to because of cost.

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  10. Jimbob (641 comments) says:

    Electronic banking is ok for small amounts, but when I have to pay say $20,000 you have to ring up to get the clearance from the bank. Also you get a few extra days leeway to when your money goes out of your account if you send a cheque through the mail.

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  11. dubya (235 comments) says:

    When I was at uni, I managed accounts for a law firm. I often wrote hundreds of cheques per month on behalf of them, some in the legal industry and related businesses seem particularly behind the times in this regard. Can understand they leave a very tangible ‘paper trail’ that some people like(I was forever making triplicate photocopies).

    Agree with the DBH weirdness – bloody annoying when you don’t have a chequebook!

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  12. pq (728 comments) says:

    All very cool dudes.
    I had a direct debit electronic to Vodafone, and Telstra Clear.
    Vodafone is disgusting, they will send you fake evidence to induce you to spend more on a different plan.
    When I had problem with old Nokia phone, they shoved a new free phone at me and debited $400. It took two months to sort these people out.
    Direct Debit is bad. Auto Pay ok, but watch them.
    Vodafone are dog, utterly vile, I went for 2 degrees, and a simple request comes through each month to pay.
    Takes 30 seconds.
    Avoid direct debit. Your bank will favour the creditor.
    I had to threaten ASB that I would withdraw entirely from them unless I could control my own bank account.
    They ASB said ok.
    Mind you that was some arrogant call centre who gives a fuck

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  13. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    Looking at my chequebook.

    The first cheque was drawn on September 2004.

    The most recent cheque was drawn on February 2009.

    I still have 38 cheques in the book.

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  14. Seán (397 comments) says:

    Metcalph drew 12 cheques between 2004-2009. Only in NZ.

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  15. Put it away (2,878 comments) says:

    I found my chequebook last time I tidied up the house, most recent stub was from 2001

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  16. Put it away (2,878 comments) says:

    It could be worse, my ex’s mother drives into town and pays all her bills in person. Apparently skytv has an office where you can pay your bill. Weird.

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  17. tvb (4,425 comments) says:

    Most online payment s require overnight banking so they can be reversed before then quite easily. I think you can ask your bank t reverse an online payment indeed they are reversible for up to 3?? business days

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  18. Hiro Protagonist (17 comments) says:

    One really big pain with electronic bank deposit to random people is you get no feedback at all that the account # you have typed in is the intended recipient. If you mis-type the number you are hosed [if you've ever done this & got your money back I'd like to know how].

    I tackled my bank about this but they said it couldn’t be done due to ‘privacy’ concerns.

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  19. djg (72 comments) says:

    It can only be returned with the consent of the recipient, the bank will not divulge the name of the recipient, there is no grace period.

    When you press send the bank say they cannot intervene.

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  20. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    The banks can do a trace on the money but it costs $50.

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  21. Spoon (104 comments) says:

    Last two I’ve use have been trying to resolve disputes with two companies. They both insisted I owed them a certain amount, I insisted they were missing certain facts and the amount should be much lower. In both cases I sent them a cheque with a letter saying if they accept it it’s full and final payment, and if not I’d go to the disputes tribunal. Dangling a carrot like this is not something you can do any other way. FWIW one of these cheques was accepted, the other returned to me with a nasty letter and ultimately thrown in the rubbish.

    Other than that I’ve legitimately used one cheque in 2010, and one in 2009.

    (For anyone interested, I followed through on my word, took the second company to the disputes tribunal, and they forgave my “debt” they day before the hearing. Should’ve taken the cheque.)

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  22. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    I have a on going court case going over a cheque I wrote in June 2002 for 115k. I certainly wished I used electronic transfer. I loaned a former friend of mine who thought he was a property developer a total of 450k with a serious of progress payments. A month after the final progress progress payment the defendant sighed a mortgage document for 450k. The progress payments were handled between us and not through a lawyers trust account. The loan was fully repaid July 2004 and I was thanked for loaning him and not charging penalty interest as i was entitled to as I know accepted he had problems out of his control. The mortgage was discharged.

    A year later I loaned him more money with different security. He owes me 35k plus a lot of accrued interest – a little over 60k. When I made it clear I would not be stalled any more and took legal action he counterclaimed about the old loan. He claims he cannot account for the 115k cheque which I gave him in the the lawyer’s office. I showed him my cheque stub and how the money came out of my account the next day. He claims 10 years after the event he did not get the money. The banks destroy cheques after 7 years so I cannot prove what account the cheque went into.

    I think I will be covered under the Limitation Act 2010 but if I had used electronic banking I would not have had this problem.

    Incidentally by former friend is a former lawyer. Fortunately not a very good one so I am representing myself.

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  23. Manolo (13,783 comments) says:

    I use a cheque every couple of months, or so.

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  24. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    Cheques are a pain in the arse. You have to go to the bank to do something with them, and if you’re me and you have an electronic only account (probably like 90% of the rest of the country) the bank charges you $3 to bank the cheque!
    Problem was solved one day when it occurred to me that I could put the money into a credit card at no cost (remember it’s the same processing cost to the bank). It’s still not ideal so I try to avoid cheques like the plague.

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  25. wreck1080 (3,918 comments) says:

    you don’t have children….sometimes you need to write cheques.

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  26. peterwn (3,273 comments) says:

    This exercise seems to much like the banks’ union devising a ‘bank centric’ solution which would then be imposed on the population. There are a load of banking issues yet to be addressed for the electronic age and surely people and businesses at large should be given a say in the development of inter-bank protocols which is effectively a monopoly situation. Some of the issues have been touched on in earlier comments. My ideas are:
    1. A 8 character (like airline reservation references – to minimise keystrokes) bank independent identifier for each bank customer. Would be allocated in such that a way that one or two wrong keystrokes would ‘land’ on an unallocated code. Would replace present bank/branch/account numbers with its obsolescent format (eg Kiwibank merely uses branch code to extend available range of account numbers).
    2. A second ‘deposit only’ identifier for customers wanting to keep main identifier confidential (some customers are reluctant to release their account numbers for payment via internet banking). The account name and address would be available to any ‘logged in’ internet banking customer. This would minimise ‘wrong account’ errors and give confidence when making ‘trademe’ payments etc.
    3. A payment mechanism actively involving the payee where amount set by payee – useful for airline and theatre bookings, trademe purchases, traffic infringement notices (where part payments are not wanted) etc. IMO the current Pol-i system which sort of provides this facility stinks and is a potential security hazard.

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  27. Camryn (543 comments) says:

    For those with children… their school could set up a paypal account or something, to which you could send a payment from your phone or other web-connected device.

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  28. la la land (6 comments) says:

    true camryn – but what about the soccer club, the netball subs, the hangi fundraiser, the camp fees – these are all to different places for small one off amounts. Even if you had lots of bank notes sitting at home its hard to make up $42.18 exactly – the cheque book rules when it comes to kids activities.

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