News & Views - Savantor

Cheque replacement gap

Friday, 18 March 2011

Square and Verifone have been in the press recently arguing about the security of Square’s mobile phone hardware for transaction processing.  The legendary rugby commentator Bill McLaren would probably have described it as nothing more than a ‘wee bit of argy bargy’ but it may be indicative of something more significant.  Square’s technology is aimed partly at small merchants who do not operate from a fixed base and therefore need to be able to take payments from customers other than via a standard POS device. 

So when cheques are removed in 2018 this type of technology would seem like a good bet as one of the replacements but if VeriFone’s concerns are verified then what are the options other than good old cash which is itself a target for removal or at least reduction?  A study in Norway on the use of cash came up with some potentially indicative trends when 1 in 3 Norwegians were found to believe that we will eventually stop using cash as a way of paying for goods and services.  The study also found that cash withdrawals from minibanks have fallen by 25% over the last five years.  34% of respondents answered 'yes' to the question: "Do you expect to see notes and coins disappear as a means of payment.  45% of respondents said that they normally carry either no money or less than NOK 200. 11% said that they usually did not carry any cash at all.  So if cash usage does begin to decline in the UK and mobile technology isn’t completely trusted then what do we use in place of cheques?  Answers on a postcard.

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