Chequeing Out

APACS published the stats for how money was spent in 2008 in the UK. How as in by what method rather than how as in on what. I saw this linked to from Scott Loftesness’ blog. His point was about the use of Google’s Chart API (he’s evidently the author of the piece); I wanted to wonder aloud whether the vast bulk of the 3% of payments made via cheque are made to the government. It turns out – check (cheque?) the original APACS source – that this data doesn’t include payments to government. I’d like to speculate, though, that the percentage of payments made by cheque to government – whether local or central – is greater than 3% and that therein lies an opportunity to reduce costs (fees, handling and security) massively through incentivising payment by electronic means. Someone should build a central debit / credit card processing engine …

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