FURTHER READING: how money moves

With so many digital banking options available to consumers, is it time to say goodbye to cheques? 

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ANZ’s General Manager of Group Services Nigel Adams - who oversees operations managing the billions of dollars flowing in and out of the bank every day – sees an end date for the humble cheque. But maybe not for a decade. Or more…

"We have a role in society… and other economies… to move that money around.”

Cheque use is just one of many rapidly evolving facets of moving money

While the industry hasn’t agreed or set a time on the horizon yet, with more and more customers switching to electronic payments, the use of cheques is in a precipitous and accelerating decline - over 20 per cent last year.

In this blueprint of the payments systems, Adams explains the different roles banks play in the payments space:

  • They cooperate with each other to ensure transactions flow seamlessly around the network;
  • they compete with each other by creating value added products and services for their customers that use the various payments platforms; and
  • they provide the liquidity to keep the economy moving.

“[ANZ has] a role in society to keep the Australian, New Zealand and the other economies in which we transact moving and we've got to move that money around.”

“[Cheques are] almost certainly [doomed],” he tells bluenotes on podcast. “But it’s a question of how long.”

“There are a couple of countries… which are well progressed down the path [to electronic payments only]. It’s quite tricky though as there are certain customer groups which don’t have access to [the internet or] smartphones. They do still rely on physical cash or paper to write a cheque.”

“Progressively it will just become so uneconomic to transact with cheques that I think there'll be a time they will disappear.”

Adams also talked in depth about how the payments operations plays into the institutional environment which you can read about in a future edition of our Further Reading series.

Jemma Wight is production editor at bluenotes 

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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