From today – 19th September 2014 – Irish Government Departments, Local Authorities and State Agencies are no longer using cheques in their dealings with businesses.
If you are a supplier of goods or services to the public sector, receiving payment by cheque is not an option after Sept 19 2014.
Cheques will continue to be paid to and accepted from consumers who still want to use them.
The governent are trying to encourage small businesses to reduce cheque usage because they are currently issuers or receivers of more than 60% of all cheques in Ireland. It is hoped that moving from from cheques to electronic payments will result in reduced costs and improved cash-flow for the overall business sector.
Ireland is one of only a few EU Member States that still makes use of cheques as a regular payment method. It has been estimated that savings of up to one billion euro per annum can be achieved by a full shift to electronic payments. (This will mean less revenue for the banks and An Post as well as less stamp duty for the government).
Businesses were given 12 months notice in Sept 2013 – so they could prepare for the change to electronic payments. Businesses that currently pay public bodies by cheque will need to check with them what alternative options will be accepted. Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), Direct Debit and Payment Card options are among the alternatives that will be offered by Government Departments, State Agencies and Local Authorities.