Cheques will soon clear by the following weekday instead of up to six under a new faster payment plan starting on October 30. Currently, after you pay in a cheque, it takes up to two weekdays (excluding Bank Holidays) before you earn interest, four weekdays before you can withdraw the money - and six weekdays before you’re certain that it won’t be returned unpaid.
Under the new system, you will be able to withdraw the funds by 23.59 on the next weekday. However, this is the maximum timeframe and many banks and building societies are likely to allow customers to access their funds earlier than this.
New ways to deposit cheques
Some banks will offer customers the option of paying in an image of a cheque rather than the paper cheque itself. Barclays already allows some of its customers to deposit cheques via pictures in their banking apps on their smartphones or tablets.
Don't write cheques off!
Cheque use has declined in recent years, but some 477 million were still written in the UK last year. There had been a call to phase them out next year, however MPs said they should be retained, as many older people in particular rely on them.
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