Instead of asking your clients to "pay me by Paypal," you might just find yourself saying "I will take a cheque, just put it in the post."
This all comes on the back of news that cheques are now going to be cleared within 1 working day, which means funds will be in your bank account almost as soon as you pay it in.
One of the main reasons why freelancers have always groaned when they get cheques is because of how long they take to process.
You pay it on Monday, and then a week later it still hasn't cleared. This isn't good when you need access to the cash.
Well, it seems that those in charge of the banks have taken notice of this problem and is why they have decided to step in and make cheques an easy and simple way to get paid...and to pay for goods and services as well.
I am reliably informed that from October 2017 cheques will become ultra fast, with many banks giving you cleared funds within a couple of hours, and definitely within 1 working day.
So why the sudden change, it is still the same old cheque after all? According to industry insiders it has everything to do with new technology that is allowing banks to verify the information at the click of a button.
Not only that, but new digital imaging software that will be installed at 98% of banks means that everything should be really straight forward, without any major problems once the new changes are implemented.
What really caught my attention about this news story is the fact that you don't even need to stand in line at your local bank to pay in cheques if you don't want to.
Simply send an image of the cheque using the banking app on your phone and it will instantly get paid into your account.
While it is good news that cheques have now moved into the 21st century and can be a main payment option for freelancers once again, it's also worth noting that if you pay by cheque then the money will go out faster as well.
One of the reasons why clients sometimes insist on paying by cheque is because they need to get a few days to sort some money out.
Once these new changes are implemented, then you will no longer have this luxury, which means you should have the money available straight away.
Will this lead to freelancers getting paid by cheque only to then see it bounce? It could very well happen, and as we all know, late payment by clients is a problem that has to be addressed anyway. Hopefully this doesn't make it even more difficult for freelance professionals to get paid.
This year, there will be nearly 500 million cheques processed in the UK alone, so I don't think it is going anywhere soon, especially in the freelance world.
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