CONSUMERS and small firms have emerged as the groups most likely to use cheques, despite this method of payment being expensive.
A new survey from the Central Bank found that we issue around 84 million cheques a year - second only to France in terms of intensive cheque usage.
More than a third of all cheques are written by consumers, according to today’s study by Central Bank economist Ronnie O’Toole.
Each cheque costs the sender and the person or firm receiving it an average of €3.55 – this is made up of stamp duty, bank charges and postal charges.
Most other European countries have moved away from using cheques.
Dr O’Toole said that high cheque usage was one of the main reasons we have a late-payments culture in this country.
The Central Bank and the Government are anxious to foster more use of electronic payments. This is despite one in 10 cheques issued every year coming from State departments and agencies.