A NUMBER of high-street retailers have recently announced that they will no longer offer their customers the opportunity to pay by cheque.
While the slow death of cheques is probably inevitable, older people remain more likely than other age groups to continue to use cheques as a means of payment.
The truth is that some older consumers in your area may already be struggling with the many changes in the way we manage money, such as the introduction of chip and pin cards, and this represents another challenge.
More than nine in ten older people have told us that more should be done to help vulnerable older people deal with the changes in the way society uses money, while seven in ten feel that older people have fewer opportunities for learning how to manage their money.
As a charity, we provide advice to older people across the country on exactly these issues through our Your Money Matters programme, which we run in partnership with Barclays. The projects are aimed at improving the skills, confidence and financial situation of older people by providing basic money management and debt advice.
We would recommend the following advice for any of your older readers who often pay for their shopping by cheque and are concerned about these changes.
Consider asking your bank or building society for a chip and pin or a chip and signature card. If you have trouble understanding how these work, you can ask your bank or building society for instruction.
In the case of chip and pin, the personal identification number (PIN) provides added security for card transactions and, if you misplace either type of card, you can cancel it straightaway.
For those who find it difficult to use pin numbers, the chip and signature card is a better option. All retailers should offer the facility to use this type of card where you can sign for goods.
Your Money Matters Programme Manager, Help the Aged