@Goldmember -- Re: The Internet. Yes, it was too good to last.
Bad move. Cheques are being phased out over the next 4 years...
Did not know that.
Ahh, but not here in the great godforsaken southern land—not yet anyway! (It usually takes us about 5 or 10 years to catch up to the UK but inevitably we do (we're so predictable at it that if you guys copyrighted your business and government practices/rules, I'd reckon the UK could live off the royalties we'd have to pay you).) ;-)
It's not news that the banks don't like cheques; they have to get off their arses and physically exchange bits of paper, which is a pain compared to line items on a computer screen. Despite the fact that they've had to do it for hundreds of years, those opportunistic, customer-service-shy pariahs won't miss a tick. (Note: bills of exchange go back to at least Roman times.)
In that article Auntie Beeb makes the point that cheques will be phased out by October 2018, but only if adequate alternatives are developed, it doesn't say what they are. So what happens when someone (a) doesn't have a mobile or POTS telephone, (b) has no internet connection and or (c) no credit card? Not having one of these three is usually a reasonable indicator that the person may not have the others. Whilst the numbers are small, in a country the size of the UK, this still amounts to many hundreds of thousands of people.
Also in the article there's a mention that the cheque's predecessor was the bill of exchange. In the paperwork sense, there's bugger-all difference between a bill of exchange and a cheque. For all sorts of reasons I cannot see how the banks can kill off everything from bills of exchange to money orders etc., etc., especially if they originate from outside the UK. That would essentially presuppose that cash was gone and that every place/country had a totally cashless banking system.
Funny isn't it, that the banks are prepared to phase out cheques before there's a secure system to replace it—i.e.: before there's a secure internet (a la this article/my post etc.)
Jolly Roger icon ==> Banks' logo!