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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 May 2007, 09:11 GMT 10:11 UK
Britons still want cheque option
A cheque being signed
Paying by cheque is less popular than it was in the past
Britons still like paying by cheque despite moves by some retailers to ban them, a survey from consumer group Which? suggests.

Nearly six out of 10 people interviewed by Which? said they found paying by cheque "very useful".

But 72% of people surveyed admitted that they used cheques less than they did five years ago.

Falling cheque usage could in part be explained by the decision by some retailers to stop accepting them.

Shell stopped accepting cheques at its 586 petrol forecourts in 2005.

Tesco and Asda are both running pilot schemes to test customer reaction to no longer accepting cheque.

Recently, Boots banned cheques in its High Street stores.

Declining use

According to banking industry figures the number of cheques written each day halved between 1990 and 2005.

As cheque usage has declined the number of people paying by card has increased.

However, according to business groups, cheques are still an important method of payment.

"A large proportion of our members and small businesses in general still deal in cheques," a spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses said.

"They shouldn't be penalised for that and should be able to carry on."

The spokesman added that cheques would die out over time but firms should not ban their use.

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