Check, mate: England to phase out paper checks

Well, 300 years is a good run for just about anything, but it seems that the era of the paper check might just be drawing to a close across the pond.

In the U.K., a board made up of major banks called the U.K. Payments Council voted to phase out paper checks by 2018. According to this Reuters article, the number of checks written annually in Britain has been falling sharply over the past decade as a growing number of people use online banking and credit or debit cards to pay for goods and services. The article also says it costs banks one pound (about two bucks) to process a hard copy of a check. A related article from the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph projects that check usage in the U.K. will continue to fall, dropping to 1.6 million per day nationwide by 2018, as compared with 3.8 million a day last year.