Community Cheque Clearing

Cheques are important as a means of payment for many people, particularly the older old, as they allow them to track their expenditure, to send payments over distances without using digital technologies, and are often more safe and secure by older people than online, telephone and card-based banking. As a way of exploring how cheques might continue to be used in the future if the banks stopped processing them, we designed our own ‘community’ cheque book service. Pre-paid cheque books were provided to groups of ‘eighty something’ participants who used them as they would a normal cheque. They encouraged members of their local community – friends, neighbours, family, window cleaners, newsagents and dance teachers – to accept these unusual cheques. The main differences with these cheque books were that they were ‘pre-paid’ and that, rather then using the bank to process them, each cheque was sent to a researcher who made an electronic payment on the participant’s behalf.

Part of the New Approaches to Banking for the Older Old project.