Tracking the decline of cheques
The rate at which Australian’s are moving away from cheques is accelerating as the digital economy takes hold. Cheque use plunged by 25% in 2019 alone - the largest drop ever recorded.
The decline in cheque use is a global trend, but the rate at which this is happening varies from country to country. Between 2011 and 2015, Australia’s drop in cheque use (-45.6%) exceeded that of most other similar countries including Canada (-25.6%), France (-24.6%) and the United Kingdom (-42.5%).
AusPayNet publishes Milestones reports twice-yearly to track the transition of paper payments to the digital economy. We are also supporting the Australian Payments Council’s work in this area.
Maintaining cheque standards
Working together with participants, equipment suppliers and the printing industry, we maintain standards to ensure the quality of cheque printing. These include technical specifications and guidelines to help designers, printers and businesses when producing custom designed cheques.
Cheque processing and clearing
The system continues to operate efficiently as cheque numbers decline. Industry-wide digital cheque clearing was introduced in 2015 to speed up the processing cycle. Cheque data and images are now exchanged between financial institutions electronically, with paper cheques destroyed shortly after settlement. Previously, cheque clearing involved a physical network of official exchanges across Australia, and long-term storage systems