It was only 5 years ago that many were calling for the chequebook to be banned altogether, in a bid to get more people using online payment options.
Ultimately though, the move never went ahead, mainly because too many people still used cheques as a way to pay, which means any business that didn't accept them would be losing out.
So here we are in 2016 and it now appears that cheques may finally be on their way out...at least in the freelancing world.
A report by the company Mintel shows quite clearly that cheques are now being used by only around 25% of the UK population, while similar studies done last year showed that figure to be around 40%.
The conclusion? That cheques are being used less by businesses and consumers that are now becoming more comfortable with online options, which let's face it, are way more convenient.
25% of the UK population might still be using cheques, but in the freelance industry this is probably closer to 10% or even 5%. The vast majority of freelancers across the board typically get paid by online payment methods, such as PayPal or online bank transfer, and this means that freelancers no longer have any use for cheques.
Over the next few years things are about to become even more "contactless" in the freelance industry experts are predicting, with things like App payments becoming accepted.
Personally, I think this is all great news, because at the end of the day who wants to be standing in line at the bank to pay in a bunch of cheques? Not me that's for sure. It's just way more convenient to get payments from clients into your bank or an online account like PayPal, which doesn't require you to stand around at a bank for half an hour.
So will cheques disappear completely over the next few years? Surprisingly, many financial pundits are saying no, and this is due to a lot of people still not being totally comfortable with the idea of paying for goods or services on the internet or with a mobile phone for example.
Let's face it, there is still 25% of the UK population that use their chequebook on a regular basis, and this means that while the demand is there you can expect the banks to keep accepting them.
To put it another way: the spending habits of our country are changing, but they do take a while to change. For this reason, I expect cheques to be around for another 10 or 20 years, which means you should always be ready to accept them if that is how a client wants to pay.
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