Picture: 123RF/ANDRIY POPOV
Picture: 123RF/ANDRIY POPOV

Standard Bank has announced that it will stop processing cheques at the end of this year — making it the last bank to condemn the paper-based payment method to the history books. 

FNB announced in July that it will no longer process cheques from January 2021. Nedbank will stop issuing cheque books and bank-issued cheques from September, while Absa stopped issuing cheques in July.   

The banks’ decisions follow an announcement by the Payments Association of SA (Pasa) to reduce the maximum value of cheque limits from R500,000 to R50,000 in May this year.  

“Cheque books are seldom seen today, with the convenience of contactless cards taking over the payments space,” Busi Radebe, head of payment at Standard Bank, says. 

In the past you could pay up to R5m using a cheque but this limit has been reduced over time with the latest reduction to R50,000 being implemented by Pasa in May.

Radebe says Standard Bank will stop quick clearance on cheques from September — all cheques will take seven days to clear. 

Absa stopped special clearance from July 1; FNB from August 1; and Nedbank will do so from September 1. 

In October, Standard Bank will stop issuing new cheque books and you won’t be able to present a Standard Bank cheque for payment from December 31.

Kenneth Matlhole, FNB business product head says, while FNB clients will no longer be able to issue cheques from January 1, the bank will still honour other banks’ cheque payments until further notice. He says electronic funds transfers (EFTs), mobile payments, online banking and card payments are safer, faster and more cost-effective payment methods. 

Matlhole adds that cheques contribute less than 0.1% of the total payments system in SA and that there was an 80% decrease in cheque usage during the lockdown.

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