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Despite constant technological advancements, cheques have remained a favourable form of payment for a number of South African residents and businesses alike.
However, this is now coming to an end, with the South African Revenue Services announcing it will discontinue the use of cheques as of next year.
The revenue collector stated, “Following the decision by South African banks to discontinue cheques as a form of payment, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has decided not to accept cheques as a form of payment at Customs ports of entry from 14 December 2020 and at banks from 1 January 2021.”
With cheques no longer to be accepted as a form of payment within the new year, how are taxpayers and customs clients expected to pay SARS? Those who relied on cheques will now have to follow the regulated forms of payment that millions of others are already following.
SARS elaborates that taxpayers and customs clients who need to pay them, can use one of the following options:
- Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
- At a bank branch (cash and EFT). All payments can be made at any ABSA, Capitec, FNB, Nedbank or Standard Bank branch.
- Travellers entering and leaving the country will still be able to pay cash at the port of entry.
Standard Bank discusses why the banks and SARS have decided to discontinue this age-old pay-medium, stating “In recent years, consumers have shifted towards the safety and convenience of digital payments.”
Moreover, the bank states that due to the physical nature of cheques, now aggravated by the impact of COVID-19, the use of cheques has declined significantly.
Now, aligned with the South African banking industry and shift in consumer behaviour, Standard Bank will be one of the major banks exiting cheque issuance. In fact, Standard Bank’s relationship with cheques will come to an end by 31 December 2020—seeing the bank now motivating the switch to digital payments, to its clientele. The financial institute states, “It is not only a safer and more convenient alternative to cheques, but it is also a far more efficient and cost-effective way of banking.”
Supporting the seriousness of the matter, in a statement, Nedbank stipulates, “The use of cheques to make and receive payments will be discontinued by Nedbank, along with the other local banks in South Africa, effective 1 January 2021.”
Nedbank claims it will continue to accept cheques until 31 December 2020, after which cheques will no longer be honoured and will no longer be an acceptable payment mechanism in South Africa.
The banking house concurs with Standard Bank, stressing, “There is a myriad of digital, card and cash solutions, available that are cheaper, safer and more convenient than cheques and we encourage you to speak to your banker for suitable alternatives that will meet your payment needs.”
With the use of cheques coming to an end, what are your thoughts? Be sure to pass this message on, as the timelines given are not months or years into the future, but are imminent.
Share your views and opinions with us in the comment section below.