Electric cheque could be way forward
Published on 13 February 2012 12:00 PM
Cheques have appeared to be on their way out for a while, despite retaining their popularity among older people, and now it seems a new technology may step in to save them.
A team of academics has developed electrical cheques which look identical to traditional ones, but use a digital pen.
The account holder writes out the cheque as normal, but uses a digital pen which 'reads' the cheque as it is written. Once completed, they tick a box - the only difference to a normal cheque - and the information is transmitted directly to the payee's bank account.
This would get around the problems which made cheques unpopular in the first place, namely that they were costly to process and needed to be stored afterwards.
The new electrical system could help preserve the cheque, and allow those who so please to continue using it as their favoured method of payment.
The technology was developed by a team from Newcastle, York and Northumbria Universities, after speaking to a group of 80-year-olds from Tyneside.
The research will be presented at the Computer Supported Co-operative Work conference in Seattle, in the US.
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director-General of Age UK, said: 'We're delighted these researchers asked older people what they need and want in this critical part of daily life, paying bills and making payments.
'Hopefully banks will now see the potential and invest in this kind of innovative design which preserves what many people find invaluable about cheques but also makes the most of modern technology.'
Copyright Press Association 2012