Consultation on future of cheque system

The Australian Government has confirmed it intends to wind down the cheques system in Australia by no later than 2030, with government use to be phased out by the end of 2028.

It has issued a consultation paper to help the transition away from the cheques system in a smooth and orderly manner.

It recognises that many financial institutions have started reducing or withdrawing their cheque offerings. At the same time, many retailers and service providers are no longer accepting cheques.

Despite an almost 90 per cent decline in the use of cheques in the past 10 years, the Government understands that cash and cheque payments are still important to some communities, and that the change in payment methods that is already underway is difficult for some people, including older Australians, and some small businesses. The Government is committed to reducing adverse impacts as much as possible. The Government also remains committed to maintaining access to cash throughout Australia.

To achieve a smooth transition away from cheques, the Government’s proposed timeline starts with:

  • ceasing issuance of bank cheques, followed by
  • issuance of commercial cheques by businesses, and government issuance of cheques.
  • This could be followed by ending issuance of personal cheques, then
  • ceasing acceptance of personal, commercial and government cheques from consumers.
  • The final steps would be to cease acceptance of bank cheques, r
  • emove the cheques infrastructure and
  • repeal the Cheques Act 1986.

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David Jacobson

Author: David Jacobson
Principal, Bright Corporate Law
About David Jacobson
The information contained in this article is not legal advice. It is not to be relied upon as a full statement of the law. You should seek professional advice for your specific needs and circumstances before acting or relying on any of the content.

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