A few years ago in Ireland the banks made a concerted effort to discontinue the cheque book, that tried and trusted method of paying for something. I’m sure there’s a serious cost attached to producing and sending out cheque books. And for us as cheque writers, we need to allow a certain time for the snail mail to deliver our cheque, and for the cheque to be cashed, cleared and deposited in the account of the person or business named on the cheque.

I don’t know why the move to remove cheques failed. Perhaps it was because we’re not all digital or electronic, or we prefer not to be, through distrust or tradition. It could be that the first effort to eradicate their use was a dry run to soften us up for a serious retry in a few years time.

I pay for the vast majority of my debts electronically. There is, however, a certain pleasure I get from writing and signing cheques. It’s part traditional, part physical, and part control.

Signing cheques is a link back to the way banking has been done for a long time. I write so little these days that I take a perverse pleasure in completing a cheque. I also feel in control of the process. I usually fill in the date first, then the payee, then the amount, before applying a flourish of a signature. I might also scribble a reference on the back of the cheque too.

Signing cheques is still symbolic to me, symbolising solidity, reality and authority.

Advertisements