The Irish Central Bank has revealed that despite a decrease in cheque use all over the EU, Ireland remains the second biggest user of cheques in Europe, preceded only by France. The use of cheques is particularly popular among businesses. The Central Bank of Ireland has published the findings of the first major analysis of cheque usage in Ireland. The research shows that although volumes are declining, Ireland remains one of only a few EU member states that still use cheques for regular payments, ranking as the second most intensive cheque user after France.
Ronnie O’Toole, Programme Manager of the National Payments Programme, said “Cheque usage in Ireland is still widespread by both consumers and business in comparison to other European countries. In particular there is a strong case for businesses to review how they make payments. Although the level of usage has fallen in recent years our survey shows that business still accounts for a significant portion of cheques.”
Cheque usage in Ireland by business is widespread, despite the fact that businesses in most other European countries no longer use cheques at all. Businesses issue 44% of all cheques in Ireland which, in 2011, equated to about 37 million cheques. Nine out of every ten are issued by SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises). The majority (57%) of cheques issued by businesses are payable to other businesses which equates to more than 21 million cheques per annum.
Consumers account for more than one third of all cheques issued, equivalent to nearly 30 million in 2011. The majority of these (56%) are payable to businesses. Just over one third of all cheques issued by consumers are payable to other consumers.