Cheques 'are in an irreversible decline'

The number of Aussies using cheques has fallen by more than 60 per cent in the past decade, as people have increasingly turned to electronic payment systems such as debit and credit cards.

This is the view of the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA), which believes cheques have entered an "irreversible decline".

According to chief executive officer at the organisation Chris Hamilton, three-quarters of Aussies no longer use this outdated form of payment, although a small number say they still rely on it.

Around five per cent of the population claimed they depend on cheques and would struggle to cope if they were scrapped.

Mr Hamilton said the APCA will not remove cheques from circulation while there is still some demand for them, although the body will work alongside the government on raising awareness of more sophisticated payment types.

"We believe competitive forces will see providers and users make their own decisions about cheques, but as volumes continue to drop, cheques are likely to become a niche service," he remarked.

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