Cheque book?


Although it seems ridiculous in the 21st century age (!), some organisations still request a cheque for payment as they’re not geared up for BACS receipt. An example is the school my children go to as they now don’t accept cash and don’t put all payments on their online system.

Any plans to offer a cheque book to go with the current account?


Well the only way to force those companies to update is to not do business with them because of that. If everyone stops paying them they’ll either adapt or die and leave the space for an up-to-date competitor.


As much as I loath using cheques there does still seem to be a few situations where sadly a cheque is the only viable payment option. Luckily this does seem to be a decreasing trend so hopefully the demise of cheques is getting closer. Issuing cheque books doesn’t really fit with the whole real time payments ethos of starling so can understand why it’s not part of their offering.


Would this be a good online business idea? Go on a website, pay with card/PayPal/whatever, get a cheque by post in return.


This question is in some way related to this question posed by @Coffeemadman - it’s basically related to the mild discomfort of the emerging trend for a new way of banking. So legacy activities like cheques and receiving postal statements is out the window in favour of more immediate activities - card payments, immediate transfers, and PDF downloads. Companies (and some people!) will take some time to play catch up. And we can’t boycott them all.

So to help us, the simple answer would be for our bank - Starling - to give us the option to “buy” these legacy services. Fill in a form in app, asking the amount, who it’s payable to. Then the customer service team would prepare the cheque and pop it in the post. The charge will need to cover Starling’s cost, but it will be a rare event for many of us. And Starling could debit our account at that time for the value of the cheque and their fee.

It would just help this gradual transition for everybody.


Are Postal Orders still a thing?

I think there’s a charge for them - but if there’s a charge for a cheque through Starling, would that be another alternative rather than Starling having to add a feature with a limited scope of use?


Good call @Stephen_Clifford - they do still exist here. And good for up to £250. I completely forgot about 'em!


Hi @Peter_Watson I can confirm that cheque books are not on our roadmap, although they are still in use - we see value in investing in more innovative banking services and tech for you that hopefully means you won’t need a cheque book for much longer.


How about this- a facility that allows you to generate a cheque as a PDF and you simply print and sign it… Or it could even be electronically signed. The system could monitor when the monies left the account and check that the cheque was only used once… Printable completed cheques… Would make my life much easier with my children’s clubs like cubs and brownies etc.


An interesting idea.

I guess this would be made even more possible by the use of cheque imaging (taking a photo of a cheque with your phone) but then I guess the argument would be if you have online banking that is capable of doing that then why not accept bank transfers?

Real cheques have a line of magnetic ink at the bottom (that bit in the weird font at the bottom) that banks because it is (or at least was) more reliable than Optical Character Recognition, not sure if this is the case today.

I’m wondering if this would be a problem for some banks who still process cheques in the manner? Or maybe isn’t already dead (MICR) and it’s still just there “just because”.

Really though, in my opinion, we should be trying to move on and avoid using cheques rather than thinking of inventive new ways to stop them from dying off!

The only sort of ‘club’ I belong to accepts Bank Transfers these days and they’ve been going for 40-50+ years, so people can move with the times, even if it is kicking and screaming!


Really interesting comments, @Chalky. I agree though, we’re surely moving away from cheques.


I remember postal orders as a kid. My parents didn’t have cheque books so this was the alternative for sending money. I remember it being expensive. Just noticed how much… 12.5% is a bit steep😳


It’s not a case of we need to get with the times!! “WE” are, hence we are using a brand new mobile bank! The problem is other people. There is still a demand, all be it small, where a bank transfer is not an option and a cheque or cash is required. Printed Cheques would be useful for a significant number of people.


Yep - I accept that there is still a proportion of people who still use them. However, that proportion is probably more of the older generation. The last time I actually received a cheque was £10 for my birthday from my gran. As, at the time, I was living in Dublin, and so to pay that into my irish account cost me about 5Euro, it was particularly annoying to be honest…

From a Starling point of view, how often would their personal banking customers need to pay for something with a cheque? Maybe for the Business Account coming later this year there might be a demand for it, but I can’t think of any time in the last 20 years (I’ve personally not had a cheque book since around 1999) that the only option to pay for something was cheque only.


I had written maybe 3 cheques in my entire life until I had my kids… Now all of a sudden I need to write one every month or so!!


“and don’t put all payments on their online system.”

My view would be that the issue is not with banks not providing cheques anymore, but with business not moving forwards with the times.
Why put time and money in to introducing an ageing technology in a forward thinking business when it should surely be up to the payee organisation to make sure they keep to their processes and ensure they put everything on their online systems?


Schools and small businesses are paying these cheques into an account somewhere, surely they can just provide those details and payment can be made instantly through the app by adding a reference. They get the money instantly and no more cheques. Win win. It would save them a job going to the bank too!


Technically a chequebook is only a service offered by banks. You can actually write a cheque on anything as long as it has the relevant information, Payee, bank name, s/c, a/c, signature, date and amount then it has to be cleared.

Here’s the fish cheque, also some guy wrote a cheque to BT on a plank of wood to annoy them.

If you want cheques for your starling account, technically you can get your own if you really want to.

Most banks would prefer if you didn’t pop round with a cheque on a piece of cod, you can order your own cheques yourself which would be more beneficial. You just need to make sure it has the correct data on it with the MICR line being readable. You can also print your own on a laser printer. Again you would need to use MICR toner. Oh MICR is Magnetic ink character recognition, it’s basically the bit at the bottom that they scan through that can read the information of the cheque.


A cheque book :man_shrugging:t2:

Apple Pay, Fast Pay, PAYM and we are talking about a cheque book

Let’s bring back telephone booths :flushed:

I want to move forwards and upwards with technology. Surely that is the way forward by generating a more efficient and quicker means of transferring funds.


Starling is not currently a member of the Cheque & Credit Clearing Company.

The recipient bank would lookup the sort code on the DIY cheque and then reject it.