Cheques to be discontinued in South Africa

Cheques will no longer be used in the South African national payment system.

After 31 December 2020 cheques will no longer be accepted or collected according to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), Payments Association of South Africa (PASA) and the Banking Association South Africa (BASA). 

Individuals and organisations are requested not to write, draw, or accept cheques after the December cut-off and  are encouraged to approach their banks to access alternative electronic payment methods. 

Leading up to and after the date of discontinuation, banks are expected to communicate extensively with their clients on the change. Furthermore, they have been tasked with the responsibility of  educating their clients on alternative electronic payment methods that may be used.

This decision was taken due to the numerous challenges associated with the use of cheques, which include a lengthy processing period, the restricted acceptance of cheques and declining use of this mode of payment. Additionally, concerns around fraud, the expenses cheque payments incur and ageing interbank cheque processing infrastructure led to their cancellation. The uptick of electronic payments due to the Covid-19 pandemic further hastened the decision.

Customers may direct any queries they may have related to the process of termination of the usage of cheques to their bank.

Details are outlined in the consultation paper titled “The phasing out of cheques in the national payment system” which was issued by the Reserve Bank on 2 October 2020.