The 19th of September 2014 is e-Day, the date from which Government Departments, Local Authorities and State Agencies will no longer use cheques in their dealings with businesses. e-Day was launched in September 2013, 12 months before it takes effect, to ensure a smooth transition to the new arrangements and to give both the various public sector bodies and affected businesses plenty of time to make arrangements for paying electronically.
Ireland is one of only a few EU Member States that still makes use of cheques as a regular payment method. The particular focus of e-Day is to encourage SMEs to migrate from cheque usage, as they are either issuers or receivers of more than 60% of all cheques in Ireland. It is hoped that moving from cheques to electronic payments will result in reduced costs and improved cash-flow for the overall business sector.
Businesses that currently pay public bodies by cheque will therefore need to check with them what alternative options will be accepted. Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), Direct Debit and Payment Card options are among the alternatives that will be offered by Government Departments, State Agencies and Local Authorities.