Obsolete: Chequebook

Photo: Peter McIntosh
Photo: Peter McIntosh
Obsolete item: The chequebook.

Born: 321 BC.

Death: Phased out in New Zealand from May to August 2021.

Use: Cash is king, but the cheque book was a close second.

Description: ‘‘Sorry, I haven't got any money on me ... but here, I'll write you this little note, and if you pop in with it to my bank they'll pay you.’’

This has worked since the time of the Maurya Empire in India (from 321 to 185 BC), when a commercial instrument called an adesha was devised, which was an order to a banker requesting payment of money to a third person.

It’s not a difficult concept to grasp, unless you are a modern-day banking corporation in New Zealand.

I was paying my monthly Otago Daily Times subscription earlier this year when the lady behind the counter asked, ‘‘What will you do when we stop accepting cheques?’’

‘‘Stop getting the paper,’’ I replied.

She looked a bit sad at that so the last cheque I ever wrote was for a year's paper delivery.

They also take eftpos.

Comeback: Unlikely to bounce back.


- Peter Dowden



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