Checks and Cash Slowly But Surely Disappearing

The Washington Post is reporting that the US Department of the Treasury will be announcing later today that most federal benefits payments from Social Security to Veteran disability checks will be made by electronic direct deposit beginning 1 March 2013. Businesses using Federal Tax Deposit Coupons will also need to go the electronic tax payment route.

The Treasury says that the move will save $400 million in processing, postage and paper over five years.

The Post story also says, "Americans who enroll on or after March 1, 2011, for benefits payments will receive them by direct deposit or be enrolled in the government's Direct Express Debit MasterCard program if they do not provide bank account information."

In related news, the London Telegraph reported last week that the UK Payment Council expects that cash will be used for less than half of all consumer transactions in the UK by 2015. According to the Payment Council, in 2009, 59% of the 37 billion transactions used cash. In 1999, the number was 73%. The Council also said that in 1999, 6% of all personal transactions involved the use of cheques, while in 2009 it was only 2%.

By 2018, cash is expected to be used in the UK in only 45% of all transactions. On 31 October 2018, paper cheques are to be totally phased out in the UK.

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