One of the biggest banks has sounded the death knell for the cheque guarantee card, with rivals set to follow its lead.
Santander, owner of Abbey and Alliance & Leicester, said yesterday that all of its new debit cards will not carry the popular ‘guarantee’.
Rival banks will do the same in the coming months, leaving small businesses which rely on cheques exposed to fraud and financial loss.
At present, most debit cards include a ‘cheque guarantee’ logo on the back.
It features an image of William Shakespeare’s head and usually states it is guaranteed for about £100 or sometimes for up to £250.
This means that anybody from a milkman to a small hotel knows that the cheque is approved by the bank for this amount.
Latest figures from the Payments Council, an umbrella group for British banks and building societies, said four million people regularly use cards to guarantee their cheques.
But in a further sign of the decline of the payment method, months ago the council said that it is going to axe the cheque guarantee service from the end of June next year.
Yesterday Santander, which has around eight million current account customers, announced new debit cards will not include the cheque guarantee logo.
A spokesman for the Spanish firm said it has decided to start replacing all cards when they come up for renewal.
A card typically lasts for up to three years.
‘In light of the need to replace around five million debit cards which have a cheque guarantee logo, Santander is taking a phased approach to make this task more manageable,’ the spokesman added.
Source : Mailonline