Cheques are a thing of the past

In a statement issued late last year, the South African Reserve Bank informed the public that, “the issuing and the acceptance/collection of cheques will cease, effective from 31 December 2020.” At the time, most banks had already begun phasing out this form of payment, with clients making use of cheaper, more convenient electronic payment methods.

January 29, 2021

According to the Reserve Bank, several challenges associated with the use of cheques in South Africa led to the decision to discontinue them. These included:

  • a lengthy processing period
  • fraud perpetrated through the issuing of cheques
  • cheques as an expensive payment instrument
  • the restricted acceptance of cheques
  • declining usage
  • limited education and protection for the consumer
  • ageing interbank cheque processing infrastructure
  • impact of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) outbreak


Electronic images of cheques issued prior to 31 December 2020 will still be made available to consumers.

While many millions of South Africans have limited access to cellphones and the internet, and the cost of data is a very real consideration, most areas of the country have ATMs and alternative payment points enabling access to electronic methods of payment.

Anyone needing assistance with electronic payment options or information regarding the discontinuation of cheques is encouraged to approach their bank directly.

Written by Wessel de Kock

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