Thursday, September 26 14:13:55
The Government has set 19th September 2014 as the day from which all payments by Government Departments, Local Authorities and State Agencies will no longer pay firms by cheque.
Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Brian Hayes, today launched the e-Day initiative that, he said will save time and money.
"Ireland remains one of a few EU Member States still using cheques as a regular payment method. The National Payments Plan targets savings of up to E1 billion per annum by changing to electronic payments. I encourage the wider business community to embrace this concept which will ultimately be to the benefit of all businesses," he said.
To ensure a smooth transition to the new arrangements, and to give both the various public sector bodies and the affected businesses plenty of time to make arrangements for paying electronically, a full year's notice of its implementation is being given.
The particular focus of e-Day is to encourage SMEs to migrate from cheque usage as they are either issuers or receivers of more than 60pc of all cheques in Ireland. A shift from cheques to electronic as a preferred method of payment will result in reduced costs and improved cash-flow for the overall business sector.
However cash will remain a widely used method of payment, while cheques continue to be available for those consumers who want to use them.
This cheque reduction initiative is part of the National Payments Plan approved by Government in April this year. It seeks to reduce the cost of Ireland's payment system (estimated at 1.4pc of GNP) through the increased use of more efficient payment methods which will lead to increased competitiveness and efficiency.