The decision would appear to have been taken on the basis that use of cheques is declining and it is of interest that according to EurActive, Deutsche Bank are prophesying that migration to on-line banking will reach 60 per cent amongst those living in the EU by 2020. The Payments Council decision would seem to be driven by the Payments Services Directive (PSD) and also the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) to which they refer here and here. For those who speak 'EUese', the PSD can be found here and the background to the SEPA here. It will not have escaped the notice of those, who like me, spotted in that last link that there is a body called the "European Payments Council" which:
"supports and promotes the creation of SEPA through industry self-regulation. It defines common positions for core payment services within a competitive market place, provides strategic guidance for standardisation, formulates best practices and supports and monitors implementation of decisions taken."Another point of interest is that included in the response by the Payments Council regarding the phasing out of cheque use:
"Given the steady fall in cheque use, the choice is between managing the decline and leaving developments to market forces. The Payments Council believes that a managed decline is in users’ best interests as it offers a clear plan for bringing alternatives on stream and provides clarity and certainty to those organisations that process large volumes of cheques."Leaving to one side the fact it is again obvious that 'crats' do not like 'market forces', spot the contradiction in that statement? Read it again: 'Given the steady fall in cheque use.....' it then continues: 'those organisations that process large volumes of cheques'. C'mon chaps, which is it? A decline or not?
I may be incorrect but I seem to recall that there is a timetable for the phasing out of cheques across the whole of the EU, but its not a directive, its an opinion, If memory serves me right it was from the The Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN) (http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/economy_finance/index_en.htm) but have been unable to track it down - so far.
When one considers that there is a European Payments Council and that the UK has a Payments Council - the 'smelling of a rat' grows, does it not? (As to my being a cynic, I can but ask: Moi???) In view of the fact that economic governance (and it will be every facet of economic governance) is fast approaching, it would seem that Messrs Hunter & Ward (Members of our Toy Parliament) might as well save their breath!
Update: My sincere thanks to Ian Parker-Joseph ( a 'star' if ever there was one) who has found the source to 'phasing out of cheques' here - a most 'interesting' document!