Cheque writing a dying art

Once the centre-piece of financial transactions, the cheque is fast disappearing from the financial landscape.

Usage of cheques has dropped by 31 per cent since 1996. That year individuals and businesses wrote 3.9 million cheques a day. In 2001 that figure has dropped to just 2.7 million a day and for the most part electronic transactions have replaced them.

In the same period automatic teller machine (ATM) transactions grew a dramatic 52 per cent, from 41.6 million transactions a month to 64 million. Electronic funds transfer at point of sale (EFTPOS) transactions have grown from 35.5 million transactions a month to 57.5 million. Credit card transactions have grown a dramatic 170 per cent in that time, from 24.6 million transactions a month to 66.4 million.

Recently Westpac signed up its one millionth internet banking customer, matching a mark attained by the Commonwealth bank some time ago.

The ease with which consumers can now pay bills via online banking or BPay easily outguns the inconvenience of carrying a chequebook and balancing it once the statement arrives.

An attractive feature of banking online is that you can view your statement at any time, view transaction details and even set recurring automatic payments.

For more details about online banking read more here.

ABIX/Herald Sun 11/10/01 p77.