So after my completely unblogged-about car accident and subsequent claim(s) from the other driver’s policy, I yesterday had the joyous privilege of receiving a cheque from those nice people at Liverpool Victoria, or LV= as they call themselves these days.
I’ve got to give the nice new hire car back (again courtesy of LV) by Friday, and I’ve conveniently found another Focus within walking distance of home (thanks to the Pickerings and sorry for everyone who looks at Jarrad’s ad in next week’s Swift Flash, I have yoinked it).
The issue I have, ladies and Gentlemen, is that my funds came in the form of a cheque. I tend not to have four figure sums lying around in my account so I can’t pay for another car until it has cleared. Therefore today I had to drive out to the bank at lunchtime to pay it in, then spend about half an hour on the phone to HSBC applying for a temporary overdraft facility whilst the cheque ‘clears’. Then tomorrow I have to go back to the bank to withdraw £1400 cash to pay for the car.
Now here we are in the 21st Century, and the funds that were agreed last Friday will not be in my account, apparently, until over a week later. Cheque posted Friday, received Tuesday, banked Wednesday, then it’ll clear on Monday, or possibly Saturday.
Surely, if sending cheques through the post is somehow better than wiring it into my account, why not give the humble cheque a facelift so it has some kind of barcode or QR Code on it?
Every cheque has data on it, it’s basically instruction to a bank to transfer money from one account to another. So why can’t all that data be condensed into a scannable code?
I could have walked into my local branch of HSBC, they would use a simple scanning device, and my money would be cleared in a few minutes. The barcode would contain all the relevant data, and the branch who scans the cheque links it to my debit card (or cheque guarantee card, as they used to also call them). Bingo. There’s your instant cheque.
Sort it out, world