A Government minister has assured third sector organisations that cheques will not be phased out unless there are adequate alternatives in place.
Sarah McCarthy-Fry, parliamentary secretary to the Treasury, was responding to a written question from Jenny Willott, Liberal Democrat third sector spokeswoman, about the planned phasing out of cheques in 2018.
"The Government recognises that certain groups still value cheques as a significant method of payment," said McCarthy-Fry.
"The Government believes it is imperative that adequate alternatives be in place for all users of cheques, including small businesses, the elderly and the third sector, ahead of any potential closure of the cheque clearing system."
She said that the decision to phase out cheques had been taken by the Payments Council, an independent body that sets strategy for UK payments, and it had promised to carry out more analysis of the effects of closing the system.