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News - 22 April 2007

Will PIN mean an end to cheques

Boots the high street chemist has made the bold decision to ban cheques in around 1,500 of its stores in the UK and Ireland from 1 May 2007. Could this be the beginning of the end for the chequebook?

The use of PIN numbers and credit or debit cards has proved over the last couple of years to be a much safer payment method than any of the other options and most people use this in preference to cheques nowadays.

We can learn lessons from France where for example the Chip and PIN system is now very well established. Most French shops and restaurants refuse to accept cheques and most have signs up on their walls and in their windows warning customers that their cheques will not be accepted.

Boots trialled the cheque ban in shops in Sussex and Surrey initially to gauge customer response. This response was generally very positive and has led to the decision to go national with an all out chequebook ban.

Cheques present retailers with the highest risk of fraud compared with cash or cards so it makes a lot of sense for other retailer to follow Boots’ lead on this.


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