Standard Bank has announced that it will stop issuing cheques at the end of 2020.
In a mail sent to clients, the bank said that due to the migration to digital payments and the advent of COVID-19, it has decided to discontinue cheques completely.
“In recent years, the use of cheques has declined significantly, largely driven by a consumer shift towards the safety and convenience of digital payments,” Standard Bank said.
“In response, and due in part to the physical nature of the product, now exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19, the South African banking industry as a whole has embarked on a journey to phase out cheques completely.”
The first step in this process is the discontinuation of special clearances on all cheques, which will take effect on 1 September 2020.
From this date, all cheques deposited into clients’ accounts will be subject to a mandatory seven-day clearance period.
The bank noted that there are two important dates related to the discontinuation of cheques which clients should note.
The first is 1 October 2020, which is when Standard Bank will stop ordering and issuing new chequebooks.
“You will still be able to use cheques as a payment mechanism until your current stock of cheques runs out, or until 31 December 2020, whichever comes first,” the bank said.
The second important date is 31 December 2020, which is when Standard Bank will stop processing cheques entirely.
“We will allow 21 days post 31 December 2020 to process any cheques issued by our clients if the cheque is presented for processing on or before 31 December 2020,” Standard Bank said.
The bank encouraged clients to switch to digital payments, citing the convenience and cost-effectiveness of these avenues.